General Information & Overview
Dental implant surgery is a procedure that replaces tooth roots with metal, screwlike posts and replaces damaged or missing teeth with artificial teeth that look and function much like real ones. Dental implant surgery can offer a welcome alternative to dentures or bridgework that doesn't fit well.
How dental implant surgery is performed depends on the type of implant and the condition of your jawbone. Dental implant surgery may involve several procedures. The major benefit of implants is solid support for your new teeth — a process that requires the bone to heal tightly around the implant. Because this healing requires time, the process can take many months.
Tell your doctor about any medical conditions and any medications you take, including prescription and over-the-counter drugs and supplements. If you have certain heart conditions or orthopedic implants, your doctor may prescribe antibiotics before surgery to help prevent infection.
To control pain, anesthesia options during surgery include local anesthesia, sedation or general anesthesia. Talk to your dental specialist about which option is best for you. Your dental care team will instruct you about eating and drinking before surgery, depending on what type of anesthesia you have. If you're having general anesthesia, plan to have someone take you home after surgery and expect to rest for the remainder of the day.
Am I A Good Dental Implant Candidate?
Because dental implants require one or more surgical procedures, you must have a thorough evaluation to prepare for the process, including a comprehensive dental exam & treatment plan. In general, dental implants may be right for you if you:
Timeline & Procedure
The treatment procedure and number of visits is largely dependent on the specific conditions. Generally, the healing process for getting dental implants takes between three to six months and will vary from patient to patient. The overall treatment process from consultation to the final placement of the restoration will take roughly six to ten months, sometimes longer in certain circumstances. But all in all, 8-10 visits should be enough to have a fixed bridge installed. Most patients report that they were much more comfortable following the procedure than they had anticipated.