How are Dental Implants Placed?
Dental implants are performed in our Salt Lake City dental office. We use nitrous oxide and oral sedation to ensure patients are comfortable during the process. Patients in need of bone grafting will come in for at least three separate appointments as we need to place the bone material, examine the strength in a few months, and add more material, or start the surgical placement of the implant. Each surgical procedure is different and it is based on the health of the patient and how well the implant bonds with the jawbone.
Understanding the Surgical Process
Dental implants are normally placed with a three-stage process. The first stage is to bury the implant into the jawbone, and keep it flush with the gum. The gums will then need to heal and once the area is ready, the implant is exposed by surgically exposing the implant by removing overlying gum tissue.
The second stage will consist of examining the implant and connecting a post that goes through the gum into the mouth, called the abutment. The gums will need to heal around the abutment. The third and final stage is the placement of the artificial tooth on the abutment and implant.
We can reduce the number of stages based on the health of your jawbone, and how well your body responds to the procedure. It is possible to place the abutment at the same time as an implant, which eliminates the need for a second appointment. However, this will depend on the bone healing time and how well the body responds. Abutments must be protected from chewing forces during the healing process. After they have healed, the artificial tooth can then be a placed and patients can enjoy having a completed smile once again.
Single Stage Dental Implant Placement
Patients that are eligible for a single-stage dental implant will be able to have the dental implant placed when a healing cap is placed. The benefit to single stage implants is that it only requires a single stage for the surgical side of the implant placement.
Two Stage Dental Implant Placement
A two stage dental implant is used when a patient has a dental implant placed and then a screw placed on top of it. Gum tissue is placed over the implant so it is not seen. After a few months of healing, the implant will be exposed and the healing cap is placed on the implant. Two stage dental implants are popular because they have a lower risk of infection and implant failure.
Immediate Dental Implant Placement
Immediate dental implant placement is placed at the same time a tooth is extracted. Immediate dental implants provide the benefit of a shorter treatment plan and bone preservation. However, immediate dental implant placement is not always possible given the way the extracted tooth comes out, and how strong the jawbone is. Some patients have infection of the socket, which leads to problems with the implant placement.
If you have heard the phrase “tooth in a day”, it is referring to immediate load or immediate crown or denture placement.
Delayed Dental Implant Placement
A large majority of patients will need delayed dental implant placement. What happens is the infected tooth needs to be removed and the area needs to be healed, without signs of infection. After the tooth is removed, the area is examined to determine if the jawbone is healthy enough for implant placement, and to ensure there is no infection of the gums. Typically patients will need bone graft treatment to move forward with the dental implant. If the jawbone is not healthy enough, it can lead to serious problems with a dental implant.
Delayed Dental Implant Placement with Grafting
Bone grafting is a common practice for patients in need of dental implants. The tooth needs to have adequate support if it is going to remain viable. If the jawbone is not healthy enough to hold the implant in place, it can lead to problems for an implant. Bone grafting is used to strengthen the jawbone to prepare it for an implant. The bone graft must heal before a placement can begin. Once we are satisfied the bone has healed sufficiently, we can move forward with dental implant placement.