How are dental implants fitted?
Not everyone will be a suitable candidate for implants, so it’s up to the dentist to carry out various tests to make sure the patient is in a healthy condition to undergo surgery. If the jaw has already started to break down after years without any teeth, a bone graft will have to be scheduled; otherwise, the implants won’t be stable and will fall out fairly quickly.
This is a surgical procedure, and it will mean that the overall treatment time is extended beyond the initial six months between appointments. Not every patient who wants an implant will have to have a bone graft, the dentist will be able to determine the condition of the jaw using an x-ray, then they can form a plan of action from there.
Although the actual implanting process is considered surgical, it is not extremely dangerous or painful, and it’s not likely that the patient will be put under general anaesthetic during the operation. To begin creating new sockets for the implants, the surgeon will make a hole in the gum line, right through to the bone beneath, then they will drill into the jaw using specialist dentistry tools.
Re-sizing the hole can sometimes be tricky, as it is important to get it exactly right or the implant will not stabilise properly in the socket. Once he or she is happy with the hole, they can implant the titanium rod; most products like this come with a screw thread already cut into the surface, which means all the dentist has to do is turn it until the rod is inserted to the correct degree, leaving a small amount protruding for the crown to sit on.
A temporary crown is then cemented in place, to shield the new root until its bond sufficiently with the supporting alveolar bone. After six months, the patient can return to the surgery to have the permanent cap fixed over the rod, and then the treatment is complete. The implanting process will be slightly more arduous if there are numerous teeth being replaced, and the surgeon may choose to perform the operation in several sessions, to avoid putting the patient under too much stress all at once.