Dental implant surgery is instrumental in replacing tooth roots with metal, screw-like post as well as restoring damaged or missing teeth with artificial teeth that appear and function much like real ones.
This procedure can offer an effective alternative to dentures or ill-fitting bridgework.
The type of implant and the condition of the jawbone will determine how dental implant surgery is performed. Dental implant surgery may encompass several procedures.
The primary benefit of implants is that they offer solid support to the new teeth. This process necessitates the bone to heal firmly around the implant. As this healing takes time, the entire process can take several months.
McLain Surgical Arts, led by Dr. Landon D. McLain, provides oral surgery to patients in Huntsville, Madison, Florence, Decatur, Scottsboro, Cullman, Athens, Alabama, and surrounding locations.
Why is dental surgery done?
Dental implants are placed surgically on the jawbone. Here they serve as the roots of the missing teeth. As the titanium in the implants fuses with the jawbone the implants will not slip, make noise, or lead to bone damage in the manner that dentures or fixed bridgework might.
In addition, the materials cannot decay in the way that real teeth that support regular bridgework can.
Dental implant surgery is typically an outpatient procedure undertaken in stages:
- The damaged tooth is taken out.
- The jawbone is prepped for surgery, and this process may involve bone grafting.
- Once the jawbone heals, the oral surgeon places the dental implant metal post in the jawbone.
- The patient undergoes the healing period which may take several months.
- The oral surgeon will place the abutment, which is an extension of the implant metal post. Sometimes when the implant is stable, this can be undertaken at the time of implant placement.
- Once the soft tissue heals, the dentist will make a mold of the patient’s teeth and jawbone and subsequently place the final teeth or tooth.
- The complete process can take several months from start to finish. A large part of this duration is devoted to healing as well as waiting for the growth of new bone in the jaw.
Placing the Dental Implant
The oral surgeon will make an incision to open the gum and expose the bone during surgery to place the dental implant. They will drill holes into the bone where they will place the dental implant metal post. As the post will serve as the tooth root, it is implanted deep into the bone.
At this juncture, the patient will still have a gap where the tooth is missing. The surgeon may place a partial, temporary denture for appearance, if necessary. The patient can take this denture out for cleaning and when they sleep.
Waiting for Bone Growth
After placing the metal implant post in the jawbone, osseointegration (os-e-o-in-tuh-GRAY-shun) initiates. In this process, the jawbone grows into and fuses with the surface of the dental implant. This process can take several months and helps offer a solid base for the new artificial tooth in the same manner as roots do for natural teeth.
Placing the Abutment
The patient may need additional surgery to place the abutment when osseointegration is complete. The abutment is the piece where the crown will eventually attach. This is a minor surgical procedure which is usually undertaken with the patient under local anesthesia and on an outpatient basis.
Choosing New Artificial Teeth
Following abutment, the gums must heal for one to two weeks before the artificial tooth can be attached.
Dr. Landon D. McLain receives patients from Huntsville, Madison, Florence, Decatur, Scottsboro, Cullman, Athens, Alabama, and nearby areas for oral surgery.
McLain Surgical Arts is a leading cosmetic surgery practice headed by Dr. Landon D. McLain MD, DMD, FACS in Huntsville, AL. Dr. McLain is a double board certified cosmetic and oral & maxillofacial surgeon, offering a variety of procedures such as dental implants, wisdom teeth extraction, breast augmentation, liposuction, rhinoplasty, tummy tuck, facelift, Botox, and laser skin resurfacing. For more information or to schedule a consultation call 256.429.3411 or click here.
Now taking patients from Huntsville, Scottsboro, Decatur, Madison, Athens, Florence, Cullman, AL and surrounding areas.