Dental implants are the preferred method of replacing missing teeth. Dental implants can be used in a variety of ways to help patients replace single or multiple teeth. The first step in the implant process involves a trip to the oral surgeon for an implant consultation appointment. During this appointment, the surgeon will examine the area to determine if the site is acceptable for implant placement. The examination may require a special image called a Cone Beam scan in addition to the films sent from our office. A Cone Beam scan is similar to a CAT Scan, but just for the head and neck region. The Cone Beam machine looks similar to our panoramic x-ray machine. A Cone Beam image is used to see if any vital structures (nerves, sinuses, etc.) are in the path of the proposed implant. A Cone Beam image can also help the surgeon determine if there is enough bone in every dimension to support an implant. The surgeon will use the information gathered from the exam and decide if any bone grafting or augmentation is necessary before the implant can be placed.
The next step is the actual placement of the implant. The surgeon will perform any necessary bone grafting or augmentation before the implant placement. Sometimes grafting procedures can require healing time before the implant can be placed. Once the implant is placed, the body usually requires four to six months to heal and accept the implant. During these months, our office will be in communication with the oral surgeon’s office to monitor your progress.
After the body has healed and accepted the dental implant, the site is ready for the final restoration. The final restoration process requires one or two impression appointments depending on your case. After the impression appointment(s), Dr. Romenesko will design your crown. Once the crown is designed, you will return to the office for the final appointment – the cementation of the crown. There are no special instructions once the crown is cemented. You can (and should) use the implant supported crown like any other tooth in your mouth.
Please ask us if you have any questions about implants or implant supported restorations!