Last updated on February 28th, 2023
In a dental implant procedure, a metal post is screwed into the jawbone, and an artificial tooth is attached to the post This is a very brief description of the procedure. It is apparent that many patients want to know more about the surgery since there are different types of dental implants, and each case might require a unique approach to the problem.This blog post will explain dental implant types and procedural steps clearly. Plus, you will find a bunch of key takeaways about preparations to be taken before implant surgery and after post-operative care. The FAQs section at the very end can help you clear your mind about the dental implant procedure.
Types of Dental Implants
There are two types of dental implants; endosteal implants and subperiosteal implants.
Endosteal (In The Bone)
Endosteal implants are small screws made of titanium. They are inserted into the jawbone to anchor the prosthetic tooth. This insertion is deep so that the screw doesn’t move or get loose after time passes. Since the material, titanium, is safe for the body, the metal screw will not cause other problems for you.
If the patient has lost most or all of his/her teeth, endosteal dental implants allow the dental professional to attach several teeth using only one or a few anchors.
Subperiosteal (On The Bone)
Subperiosteal implants are metal frames that can hold prosthetic teeth. Subperiosteal implants are attached to the jawbone, but not drilled into it. The implants are not screw-like as in endosteal implants.
Having the implant anchored to the dental prosthetic is a far more realistic way to have implants for those who don’t have a healthy or large enough jawbone under the gum tissue.
Types Of Dental Implant Procedures
There is no one-size-fits-all implant procedure in dentistry. Depending on the specific case of the patient, dentists work out the most suitable treatment plan.
Here are some of the various implant procedures that you should know before getting implants.
Single Tooth Dental Implants are used for patients missing one tooth.
Multiple Tooth Dental Implants are used for patients missing several teeth.
Full Mouth Dental Implants or all-on-4 dental implants are used for patients missing most or all of their healthy teeth.
Sinus Augmentation (sinus lift) is good for people whose upper back jawbones are very close to the sinus, and the bone structure deteriorates in terms of quantity and/or quality.
Ridge Modification improves the appearance of the jaw by lifting the gum. Thereby, deformities in the lower or upper jaw are eliminated, and the success rate in an implant surgery becomes much higher.
What Are The Steps Of A Dental Implant?
The basic steps of dental implant treatments are as follows:
Osseointegration is the process in which the post is assimilated into the bone. This process can take 3-6 months.
Once the gums heal after the osseointegration, you go back to the clinic to get the abutment. The recovery after the abutment can take up to 2 weeks.
Placing The Artificial Tooth
Until the fabrication of your permanent tooth is done, you get a temporary crown to cover the gap.
Placing The Permanent Tooth
Once the implant area is healed and your permanent tooth is ready, the dentist replaces the temporary tooth with the permanent one.
Though the steps are given separately, some of these steps can be merged depending on the healing and fabrication time. Also, a dental implant timeline generally includes a set of pre-treatment procedures, and they might affect the further steps of the process. Therefore, a patient should consider dental implant procedure steps and dental implant procedure timeline wholly. Here is a practical timeline including every step in the dental implant treatment.
|Initial consultation||Depending on your and dentist’s schedule. It may take a week.|
|Prerequisite treatments (bone grafting, sinus augmentation, tooth extraction…etc)||Depending on the type of treatment and healing, it might take as long as a year|
|Implant placement and healing||The placement takes 1-2 hours, but healing can take 1-2 weeks.|
|Osseointegration||It takes about 4-6 months.|
|Placing abutment and temporary tooth||It takes 1-2 weeks including the healing time.|
|Placing the permanent tooth||It is just a matter of scheduling once the permanent crowns are made.|
|Post-surgical follow up||You are advised to return to the clinic for a check-up within two weeks.|
How To Prepare For Dental Implant Surgery?
As you might already know, dental implant treatments can require multiple surgical procedures. Therefore, patients need to have a comprehensive dental exam prior to the implant surgery. The comprehensive examination usually includes taking 3D images and X-rays.
Another important step is a review of the patients’ medical history. Certain medical conditions like orthopedic implants, heart conditions, pregnancy, or allergies can affect the way a patient gets the implant treatment. If the patient is already taking prescription or over the counter medications, the dentist should know about those, too.
The final step of the preparation is the treatment plan. It includes the discussions and decisions on more specific points like how many teeth are to be treated, what to do with the jawbone or sinus, or what type of crown you should use. Also, the procedures on the day of surgery are discussed at this stage. For example, depending on the sedation type, the dentist instructs the patients about drinking and eating before and after the surgery. They will also ask patients to arrange someone to drive back home after the surgery.
How Long Does A Dental Implant Procedure Take?
The dental implant placement takes only 1-2 hours. However, patients might have various other treatments before the implant procedure. Considering the healing time and scheduling, the total procedure can take much longer.
How to Care After The Dental Implant Procedure?
Dental implant restoration is usually successful, but some bad habits like smoking can slow down the healing process, and increase the likelihood of failure.
Aside from that, you should;
- Practice decent oral hygiene by brushing and flossing.
- See the dentist regularly
- Avoid damages by avoiding chewing or biting hard items, and consuming tooth-staining foods and drinks.
Here are a few frequently asked questions about dental implant procedure.
Is A Tooth Implant A Painful Procedure?
The mouth is numbed during the procedure, so you don’t feel any pain. The pain after the procedure can be relieved using over-the-counter medications.
Do Dental Implants Hurt More Than Tooth Extraction?
No. According to a study, published in the International Journal of Dentistry, in 2021, tooth extraction is a relatively more painful procedure.
How Long Do You Have Pain After Tooth Implant Surgery?
The pain or discomfort should go away within 5-7 days.