The Stages of the Dental Implant Process
At our dental practice, Staten Island cosmetic dentists Alex and Jason Hecht always take a conservative approach to dentistry, conserving a patient’s natural teeth whenever possible. In some cases, the natural teeth cannot be saved. Fortunately, that does not mean our patients need to lose the function of their teeth or suffer through the use of uncomfortable or unreliable dental fixtures. When our Staten Island patients do suffer from tooth loss, dental implant surgery can be performed to give patients a secure and permanent base for dental restorations. The dental implant procedure is one that takes many stages and several months to complete, but it is a treatment that will provide patients with a beautiful smile that lasts a lifetime. For our patients in Staten Island, dental implants are placed in our offices under the skilled care of Dr. Hecht. Unlike other practices, we are able to complete every stage of the dental implant process without referring our patients out to oral surgeons. The five stages of the dental implant process are as follows:
Stage 1: Consultation
The first stage of the dental implant procedure will be a consultation and exam to determine if you are a good candidate for the dental implant procedure. At this consultation, the jaw bone will be examined, a complete set of x-rays will be taken, and a CT scan will be performed. If you are a good candidate for the procedure, the treatment will be planned out and discussed with you in detail at this consultation. Please ask any questions or voice any concerns you may have.
Stage 2: Bone Grafting (when necessary)
The patient’s jaw bone needs to be strong in order for the dental implant surgery to be a success. If Dr. Hecht finds that the jaw bone is not strong enough to withstand the dental implant procedure, bone grafting can be performed so that bone from another area of the body or jaw can be transplanted to the area of the jaw that is to be treated. Bone grafting will only be required for some of our patients. Those with a strong and healthy jaw bone will proceed directly to stage three of the treatment process.
Stage 3: Dental Implant Surgery
During this stage of treatment, oral surgery will be performed so that titanium posts can be secured into the jaw bone. A small hole will be drilled into the jaw bone and the posts will be screwed into place. We ensure that our patients are completely comfortable during this procedure, offering anesthesia or sedation dentistry. It will take several months for the jaw bone to heal and for the posts to fuse with the jaw bone (a process called osseointegration). Dr. Hecht sends patients home with temporary dental prosthetics so they maintain full functionality during the recovery period.
Stage 4: Placing Abutments
When the jaw bone has recovered, patients will return to have the abutments placed. The abutments are small posts that actually extend above the jaw bone so that dental restorations can be affixed to the dental implants.
Stage 5: Dental Restorations
With the dental implants and abutments in place, restorations can be attached. Depending on the patient, dental crowns, dental bridges, or permanent dentures will be secured to the dental implant.
Schedule an Appointment
If you have any questions about the dental implant process or would like to learn if you can benefit from treatment with dental implants, schedule an appointment with Dr. Alex and Jason Hecht at your earliest convenience.