4. How is dental implant surgery performed?
Step one: Dental implant surgery is an outpatient procedure. Your mouth with be numbed with a local anesthetic, or you will be given IV sedation.
Step two: When your mouth is numb or you are sedated, the oral surgeon will make an incision in your gum to expose the bone.
Step three: When the incision is made, a drill is used to create spaces in the bone for the implant screw. From there, the implant goes into place.
Step four: Your incision will be closed, and you made need stitches depending on the size of the incision.
Step five: Dental implants are a lengthy process, so you will be sent home to recover and probably return for the second phase of the procedure in a few months. This gives the bone time to grow around the implant, making it strong enough to stay in place. This process is called Osseointegration, which means the titanium from the implant combines with the bone.
Step six: You will return to the dental office, and the dentist will determine if the implant is secure enough to hold the new tooth. Then, your dentist will make another incision, re-exposing the implant and placing an abutment piece on the implant (this keeps the new tooth in place).
Step seven: When your gums heal, you will be brought back to the dental office to make an impression of your teeth, and from there, a custom replacement tooth will be created (this is called a crown). The crown is then attached to the abutment.