Here at Innovative Implant and Oral Surgery in Bucks County, PA, it is our goal to help patients achieve a healthy, beautiful smile. Dental implants are an excellent solution for those who have lost one or more teeth and want to rediscover the comfort of eating, talking, smiling and laughing with total confidence. Getting dental implant surgery isn’t a minor decision – it’s a life-changing milestone!
What are dental implants?
Dental implants are a revolutionary way to replace failing, diseased or missing teeth using restorations that are custom-made to look, fit and function just like your natural teeth. A dental implant acts as an artificial tooth root and is comprised of three components:
- Base (implant fixture): A biologically compatible titanium screw that integrates with your jawbone and serves as a stable foundation for the new tooth.
- Abutment: The abutment, or connector, is used to affix and support the crown or set of replacement teeth.
- Crown (artificial replacement tooth): The visible tooth structure that is crafted from high quality ceramic or porcelain and designed to mimic the shape and color of your own teeth.
Dental implants can be utilized to replace a single missing tooth, multiple missing teeth or a full upper or lower arch of teeth.
Dental implants procedure
If you are considering a permanent smile makeover with implants, you’re probably curious about what the surgery entails. The dental implant procedure is typically performed under local anesthesia, though general anesthesia may be indicated in some cases. How the procedure is performed depends on the health your jawbone and the type of implants being placed.
Dental implant placement after extraction
Dental implants may be placed immediately after tooth extraction or several weeks to months later. The first approach shortens treatment time substantially, but is only offered if adequate bone tissue is present and there are no signs of infection or other oral problems.
If teeth were extracted months ago or have been missing for an extended period of time, the adjacent jaw bone will have atrophied to some degree. Patients with significant jawbone deterioration will benefit from bone grafting surgery before implant placement. This will ensure there is sufficient jawbone to support and anchor the dental implants.
Dental implant surgery – step by step
The total duration for dental implant surgery generally lasts 45 minutes for a single implant and up to three hours for multiple dental implants. We work with your dentist as a team – we place the implant and your dentist places the crown.
Here is an overview of all the steps in a dental implant procedure:
- Patient is given IV sedation to ensure comfort and relaxation
- Local anesthetic is administered in the gum tissue
- Small incisions are made in the gum tissue exposing the bone for implant placement
- Precise pilot holes are carefully made in the gum tissue to accommodate the implant fixture
- Dental implants are gently screwed into the jawbone using special instruments
- Time is then allowed for the implant to fully fuse with the jawbone – a process known as osseointegration. This healing process varies from one patient to the next but can last 3-6 months.
- After osseointegration is complete, a healing cap or abutment is placed just above the gums line, covering the implant base. The abutment, or connector, is the supportive structure for artificial tooth (crown).
- Meanwhile, replacement teeth are custom fabricated using impressions of your mouth. Patients will then get a temporary crown to wear while the tissues continue to heal.
- After the soft tissue has fully healed from the abutment placement, it is time for your dentist to place the final prosthesis (crowns) on top of the abutment. The crowns can be cemented or screwed into place. Several visits may be necessary to assure a proper fit.
In certain cases, our oral surgeons may choose to place the abutment at the same time as the implant fixture. This will reduce the overall procedure time, but patients must realize that the cap will be visible when opening the mouth until the artificial tooth is placed.
What to expect during and after the procedure
The dental implant procedure can last up to 4-10 months, from initial consultation to final results. As with any kind of dental surgery, patients may experience minor discomfort, swelling of the gums, light bleeding, pain at the implant site and bruising after the surgery. All patients are provided with detailed post-op instructions and may also be prescribed pain medication and oral antibiotics.
Soft foods are recommended after each phase of the procedure, which helps the site heal. Once the recovery is complete, you can rest assured that dental implants have a 98 percent success rate, and can last more than 25 years with proper care.
Evaluation for dental implants in Pennsylvania
Our practice is dedicated to providing the highest level of patient care possible. Why settle for uncomfortable dentures when you can restore your smile permanently and comfortably with dental implants!
Using our surgical skill, advanced technology and years of experience, we help patients reap the myriad benefits of dental implants. Our Feasterville practice is convenient to residents throughout Bucks County, Montgomery County and the greater Philadelphia area.