Dental Implant Placement
At Palo Alto Oral Health, our doctors recommend replacing your missing teeth with artificial ones. There are three popular ways to replace your teeth: removable dentures, dental bridges, and dental implants.
Out of these three, a dental implant is the most natural-looking, strongest, and most durable tooth replacement option.
Procedure for Dental Implant Placement
Dental implant placement is completed in multiple sessions during a period of three months, to over a year in some cases.
Evaluation of Your Teeth
At Palo Alto Oral Health, our doctors will first check your teeth, gums and jawbone. One of the most important factors they will determine is whether you have healthy and strong bone in your jaw.
If your jawbone is soft and porous, we may recommend a bone graft procedure. This involves making an opening in your jaw, and packing the space with bone grafting material and collagen so that healthy bone can grow in your jaw and support the dental implant.
In addition, we will also check if your gums are free from disease.
The number of teeth you need to replace will be determined by the scope and type of procedure you need.
Placement of the Dental Implant
A dental implant looks like a titanium screw that is topped with an artificial crown. To place the implant, we will make a cut in your gums to expose the underlying jawbone. We will then make a small hole into the jaw where the implant will be carefully placed.
We will then place a healing cap on the site and allow it to heal. If you want, we will also place a temporary denture on the surgical site until you get your permanent crown.
After the surgery, you may feel some minor pain and experience swelling. For that, we can prescribe some over-the-counter medication. In most cases, you will be able to resume your regular activities just one day after the procedure.
Osseointegration is the process of your dental implant fusing to your jawbone, subsequently making the foundation for your new tooth stronger and more stable. This process can take anywhere from two to six months.
During the process, the bone of your jaw will grow tightly around the titanium implant, anchoring it firmly in place and preventing it from moving when pressure is applied by the chewing motion on your new tooth.
Placement of the Abutment
A metal connector called an abutment is attached to the implant. Depending on your particular type of surgery, it can be done during the first surgery or during the second minor surgery under local anesthesia.
If the abutment is added during the second surgery, we will remove the healing cap, and attach the abutment to the dental implant. The gum tissue will then be allowed to grow around the abutment.
The gums will then be allowed to heal for a period of a few weeks.
Placement of the Crown
Once your gums have healed and gone down to their normal size, we will take an impression of your teeth so that we can make a replacement tooth that can fit in the arch. We will either make a removal or fixed crown for you.
A removable crown can be screwed onto the abutment and removed for cleaning.
A fixed crown, however, will be firmly attached to the abutment with the help of dental cement. Once the crown is placed, we will make the final adjustments and check your bite.
Once the process is completed, you will be able to use your new tooth immediately. Let us know if you feel any discomfort, swelling, bleeding or an uncomfortable bite.
Schedule an Appointment With Us
Missing teeth can reduce the overall health of your mouth and can also result in injury, infection, misalignment and more. If you are missing your teeth, talk to our doctors and discuss your treatment options with them.
To schedule an appointment with us, call (650) 321-9693 today.