3 Key Steps During The Dental Implant Process – And What Can Go Wrong

Posted on: 6 December 2016

Receiving a dental implant following a tooth loss can restore your smile and chewing confidence. The dental implant treatment process takes a number of months due to the process having a few steps that each take time. Going the slow and steady route with the implants helps the cosmetic dentist minimize the risks of a problem occurring and potentially threatening the stability and health of your implant.

What are the key steps during the dental implant process – and what can go wrong in each step?

Bone Graft

A bone graft isn't a required part of the dental implant process but is often needed to help build up the jawbone in the area of the lost tooth. The loss of a tooth quickly causes the jawbone to start to deteriorate due to the removed tooth pressure. Weakened jawbone can't heal around the implant root properly and the root could remain loose or fall out.

The graft procedure requires your dentist to use a section of bone from elsewhere in your jaw or from an outside donor source, which can include synthetic, cadaver, or bovine bone. The segment of donor bone is inserted into the weakened area. Your dentist will then wait until a follow-up appointment shows that the bone segments have healed together before continuing on with the dental implant process.

Root Placement and Healing

When the jawbone health is sufficient, the dentist will drill a hole into that bone to make way for a screw-shaped titanium root. The root is twisted into the grooved hole and then your soft tissue is stitched back in place over the root to promote healing.

Over a period of months, the jawbone will fuse around the root to hold the root firmly in place. Successful healing is called osseointegration. If the osseointegration doesn't happen, the dentist can't continue on with the dental implant procedure. You might require another bone graft or the dentist might decide that a dental implant isn't the right choice for your treatment.

If osseointegration succeeds, the dentist can finish off the dental implant process with the next step.

Abutment Placing

The abutment is the artificial tooth that snaps onto the top of the dental implant root. Some implant roots already have a post attached to allow the dentist to snap the abutment immediately on once the bone healing has finished. But other types of roots require the dentist to install a post, give the soft tissue some time to heal around the post, and then install the abutment.

To learn more, contact a company like Smile City.