When you lose a tooth, more than your self-esteem is disrupted. A lost tooth can also lead to bone loss and problems with your surrounding teeth. One of the options to correct your problem is a dental implant. This is one of the best ways to replace your tooth and restore confidence in your smile.
At Woodland Lakes Dental Studio in Conroe, Texas, Dr. Gabriel Polo and his team offer modern technology to help make your dental implant experience the best it can be. Dr. Polo provides anesthesia or sedation for certain parts of the procedure if you need it, as the dental implant process can take several visits.
Dental implants are prosthetic teeth used to replace missing teeth. They consist of a post that acts as the root for your prosthetic tooth. This helps prevent bone loss and gives you a permanent option for replacing your tooth.
There are two main types of dental implants. Endosteal implants use titanium screws that Dr. Polo surgically inserts into your jawbone. This screw can hold one or more prosthetic teeth and is a good option if you have a bridge or dentures currently.
Subperiosteal implants are used when your bone isn’t healthy enough for an endosteal implant. Subperiosteal implants are secured on the upper portion of your jaw, instead of in your bone. This process uses a framework and posts that poke through your gum. This is where the prosthetic teeth attach.
When you’re missing a tooth, there are plenty of options available to fill the gap. However, if you’re considering a dental implant, there’s certain criteria that makes you a good candidate. This criteria includes:
You should also be in relatively good physical health, due to the surgical nature of the implant. You shouldn’t have any medical problems that cause poor bone healing, such as uncontrolled diabetes or immune system disorders.
The process of a dental implant takes several steps, depending on the health of your bone and how many implants you’re receiving. Certain steps of the procedure may require oral surgery, which often calls for sedation.
The first step after your consultation is removing any tissue or tooth from the area where the implant will be placed. If Dr. Polo notices that you don’t have enough healthy bone to hold the implant securely, you may need to have bone grafting done as well.
Once your bone is ready, the next step of the process is placing the post if you’re getting an endosteal implant. Dr. Polo exposes the bone underneath your gum and drills the hole for the post that will hold your prosthetic tooth. If you have a periosteal implant, your bone isn’t drilled. Instead, the post is secured on or above your jawbone.
After the post is placed, you’ll need to allow your bone to grow around the implant, which is known as osseointegration. This process takes anywhere from 2-6 months to provide stability to the screw that will hold your tooth.
Once the implant is stable, Dr. Polo attaches your new prosthetic tooth to the post. The implant can either be permanently fixed or removable.
Not everyone needs anesthesia for a dental implant. Each patient’s needs are different, and Dr. Polo and our team take time to determine the best route of treatment for you.
Some parts of the dental implant procedure can be invasive, especially when placing the post into your jawbone. For many people, sedation or general anesthesia is needed to allow for a pain-free experience during your procedure.
The same is true if you need bone grafting or the abutment placed after gum tissue has healed over the area. If you’re more comfortable having anesthesia for your procedure, Dr. Polo is happy to accommodate your needs.
Other portions of the dental implant procedure may only require local anesthetic. For instance, when your artificial tooth is placed on the post or abutment, you may only need local anesthetic to keep you comfortable.
When you decide to get a dental implant, Dr. Polo discusses your options regarding the type of implant and timeline. He also offers you options when it comes to anesthesia. Dr. Polo’s goal is to keep you comfortable during the entire process.
If you need a dental implant, don’t hesitate to call our office or request an appointment online today to discuss your options with our team.