The Dental Implant Process: 5 Things to Know from Consultation to Restoration

Dental implant process

According to the American Academy of Implant Dentistry, in the US, over 150 million people are missing at least one tooth, yet just over a million are treated each year (corresponding to 2.5 million implants). And dental implants are becoming an increasingly popular tooth replacement option for those who want to restore their smile. While dental implants have many benefits and are a definite consideration for many, there are bound to be some questions. Read on to understand five things you need to know about the dental implant process, from your dental implant consultation to restoration.

Understanding the dental implant process. 

Let’s start by answering the question, what are dental implants? Dental implants consist of a titanium post surgically placed into your jawbone to provide a stable foundation for a replacement tooth. They are made of biocompatible materials, such as titanium because this material has a high rate of success in fusing with the jawbone over time through osseointegration.

Dental implants offer a long-lasting solution for individuals with missing teeth, as they restore the aesthetics of a natural smile and provide functional benefits, such as improved chewing ability and speech clarity.

1. Dental implants have a 95% success rate.

Getting dental implants is a wise choice and one of the reasons why is they boast an impressive success rate of 95%! According to a study written by PubMed Central and published by the National Center for Biotechnology Information, dental implants have shown remarkable longevity and stability. In most cases, patients can enjoy a durable and reliable solution for their missing teeth. 

Practice good oral care at home to ensure your dental implants last as long as possible. And don’t worry, we’ll provide tips for dental implant maintenance later in this article.

2. The dental implant process takes about five to eight months. 

The dental implant process is a journey that typically spans about five to eight months. It begins with an initial consultation with your dentist, who focuses on dental implants in Wasilla. We will evaluate your oral health at this appointment and discuss treatment options. 

Next comes the implant placement surgery, during which the titanium implants are carefully positioned in the jawbone. Following this step, a healing period of several months is necessary for the implants to fuse with the surrounding bone through osseointegration.

Finally, the last stage involves the placement of the final restorations, such as the abutment and a crown or bridge, which complete the smile transformation. It’s important to note that individual factors, like bone health and the need for additional procedures, such as a bone graft, may influence the overall timeline.

3. Recovery expectations and timeline after dental implant surgery. 

Recovery time following dental implant surgery can vary depending on the complexity of the procedure. For most of our patients, the bulk of the recovery period typically lasts only one or two days, allowing for a swift return to daily activities. However, if multiple implant procedures or bone grafts are involved, the recovery time may extend to around one or two weeks. 

It is common to experience tenderness and bruising in the initial days after surgery. During this time, your tooth implant dentist may recommend a soft diet consisting of smoothies, yogurt, ice cream, pudding, applesauce, mashed potatoes, and creamy soups or broth. You can gradually reintroduce other foods into your diet as you feel better.

4. The maintenance and care of your new dental implants. 

Aside from their high success rate, patients love their new dental implants because of all the tooth replacement options, tooth implants look, feel, and function the most like your natural teeth. And for this reason, you can care for your dental implants just as you do your remaining natural teeth. 

Here are some tips for how to care for your teeth and gums at home:

  • Brush your teeth at least twice a day, for two minutes at a time, using a fluoride toothpaste to remove plaque and prevent the risk of cavities.
  • Remember to floss daily to clean between your teeth and along the gum line, where a toothbrush may not reach.
  • Rinse your mouth with a fluoridated mouthwash after brushing and flossing to strengthen your teeth and fight bacteria.
  • Choose tooth-friendly foods, like crunchy fruits and vegetables, dairy products, and lean proteins while avoiding sugary snacks and beverages that can contribute to tooth decay.
  • Schedule regular dental check-ups and professional cleanings to ensure your oral health is in top shape and address any potential issues before they worsen.

5. What to expect if you need a bone graft. 

As we mentioned earlier, occasionally, patients require additional procedures as part of the dental implant process, which can extend the timeline for their dental restoration. A bone graft is often required before dental implant placement because an adequate amount of bone is essential for implant support. Insufficient bone in the jaw can hinder the proper attachment of the implant and potentially lead to implant failure. 

By undergoing a bone graft, the jawbone is strengthened and augmented, providing a solid foundation for the dental implant’s successful integration and long-term stability. During your initial consultation, we’ll discuss whether a bone graft needs to be part of your dental implant process.

With Valley Dental Clinic, dental implants in Wasilla will get you smiling again.

The dental implant process offers an excellent solution for individuals with missing teeth, boasting a high success rate and long-term benefits. From the initial consultation to the final restoration, this journey of transforming smiles takes time, but promises a confident and exciting outcome. 

If you reside in or near Wasilla and Anchorage and seek dental implants, we encourage you to contact Valley Dental Clinic today to explore the exceptional tooth replacement options available and embark on your own dental implant process. 

Say goodbye to gaps and hello to a radiant smile with dental implants in Anchorage!