Cont. from previous edition

Dental Implant Procedure

Placing a dental implant has various stages. They are summarised as below:

Placing The Implant

Thanks to the modern dentistry techniques, it’s possible to make the implant placement procedure comfortable and pain-free.

The procedure starts with the jawbone preparation, and the surgeon then makes a cut to expose the bone for drilling holes. The holes are kept deep enough for the implant to be placed properly and placed deep into the bone, like the root. Sometimes, after this, a temporary crown is given to the patient which is placed to fill the gap, and also for achieving the aesthetic goal. This crown can be taken off for implant procedure, one has to wait until the bone is healed properly

Healing

During this process, the jawbone will grow and unite with the surface of the dental implant. This process is also referred to as osseointegration as it helps to offer a durable base for the new artificial tooth, much like roots do for the natural teeth.

In general, this process takes between 3 to 6 months depending on the bone health & structure. After that, you can schedule the second surgery but only once the implants are fused with the bone.

Abutment Placement

The second surgery will be simpler than the first where a new incision is made to expose the heads of the implants. During the procedure, the dentist will re-open the wound to attach the abutment to dental implant. A temporary crown will be given for 4 to 6 weeks to let the gums around the abutment heal.

Placement Of Permanent Crown

In this stage, the dentist will focus on making the permanent crown look exactly like your natural teeth. All the elements like the surface texture, color and anatomy will be tuned up to blend with the surrounding dentition.

After crown placement, your doctor will explain post-implant care instruction.

POST-OPERATIVE INSTRUCTIONS FOR DENTAL IMPLANTS

  • Follow post-operative instructions after dental implant procedure.
  • Avoid touching, spitting or rinsing the wound on the day of surgery.
  • After implant surgery, it’s normal to have some bleeding or redness in the mouth for 24 hours. To control excessive bleeding, bite on a gauze pad (placed on the bleeding wound) for 30 minutes. If bleeding does not stop, seek further instructions from your dentist.
  • Swelling is natural after surgery. To minimize it, apply an ice pack on the cheek in the surgical area.
  • Drink lots of fluids but avoid consuming hot beverages. Stick to soft diet on the day of surgery. Don’t drink anything using a straw.
  • Start taking pain medication as soon as you feel the effects of the local anaesthetic are going down. However, take the medicines prescribed by the dentist.
  • Healing is not possible without good oral hygiene. Use the prescribed oral rinse while the day after surgery. Rinse for at least 30 seconds and then spit it out. Use warm salt rinses at least 4-5 times a day as well.
  • Be gentle while brushing the surgical area to not affect the healing.
  • Do not use, or consume, tobacco products in any form or any type after implants. It not only hinders healing but may also increase the chances of implant failure.
  • Healing abutments will be placed at the time of implant placement. So, do rinse them frequently and keep them clean.

DENTAL IMPLANT COST

The cost of dental implants seems to be more however, implants are not that heavy on your pocket. There are multiple parts to each procedure which actually leads to a perception of implants being expensive. It is critical to understand that if a missing tooth is not replaced with an implant, sooner or later the adjacent teeth start shifting and jawbone loss also starts which ultimately would turn out to be much more expensive to manage than a single dental implant.

Dr Nisha Garg

MDS (Conservative Dentistry and Endodontics)

Rajindra Hospital, Patiala, Punjab, India