If you’re considering the option of a dental implant for tooth replacement, it can seem a little daunting at first; however, dental implants can be an effective, long-term solution for replacing your tooth or teeth and restoring your smile. Depending on your situation, they can be one of the best options for you! Here’s what to expect if you opt for dental implants with Dr. Schultz.
This step can depend on your unique situation. For some patients, preparation can involve removing a damaged tooth and placing a bone graft where the tooth used to be, to help support an implant. This step is sometimes taken so that the implant will be stable within the bone when it is placed. After a bone graft, you’ll most likely undergo a healing period before moving to the next step. Sometimes a bone graft is not required, and the implant can be placed at the same time that your tooth is removed. Other times, if you’re replacing a tooth that was removed several months or years ago, an implant can be placed with no preparation at all—as long as the bone in the area is sufficient enough to support it.
Placement of an implant can sometimes be the scariest-sounding part for patients, but we take great care to ensure you’re comfortable and relaxed during the procedure. In a surgical procedure, a titanium dental implant is placed within the bone of the missing tooth. This implant will eventually support a new tooth, but requires a few months of healing and recovery before you’re able to chew on it. Depending on your unique situation, you may need a temporary tooth replacement to wear while the implant
heals, or you may not need one at all. Dr. Schultz can discuss all of your options for a temporary tooth with you while planning for this appointment.
After you’ve healed from placement of an implant, we take a mold of your teeth in order to fabricate a crown (tooth) that will attach to the implant, and on which you’ll be able to chew. This is done with great attention to matching the shape and shade of your adjacent teeth, so that no one will even know it’s not a real tooth! Once the crown has been made, it’s attached to the implant in a simple, in-office procedure.
Overall, this process can take several months, and may require some recovery between treatment sessions, but patients find the best long-term results with dental implants. This means no worrying about dentures (since the implants become a permanent part of your smile and don’t come in and out), no decay (because the implant is titanium), and no bothersome flossing (like is necessary beneath a bridge).
If you’d like to discuss your dental implant options with Dr. Schultz, contact our office by calling or filling out our online form—we’d be happy to answer any questions you may have!