The road to dental implant placement and restoration can be a time commitment. Depending on each individual case, whether there is enough bone present or if a tooth needs to be extracted, it may take anywhere from five months to one year or more to complete the dental implant process. Unfortunately, these time periods are dictated by the time it takes for the body to heal. We understand that the process can be confusing. That’s why we have summarized the steps involved in the implant process below. Keep in mind that your particular treatment timeline may differ based on your anatomy, overall health, and treatment goals. Should you undergo the implant process, we will keep you informed every step of the way!
Consultation And Exam:
Comprehensive examination and health history. X-rays to measure the bone will also be taken. We will discuss your treatment options. Our Indianapolis office staff will help you with your insurance and payment options, including 0% financing from CareCredit.
Impressions of the jaw and teeth may be taken. We recommend you follow a soft diet the first few days after surgery so you don’t put undue stress on your new implants, so you may want to go shopping pre-surgery for soft foods like mashed potatoes, mac-n-cheese, soups, cottage cheese, yogurt etc.
Extraction of A Tooth:
In Some Cases The Extraction of A Tooth is indicated. If the bone is healthy, the implant may be placed the same day as the extraction. However, if there is severe bone loss or presence of a large infection, it may not be possible to place the implant at the same visit as the extraction. In such cases, it may be necessary to bone graft the area.
Bone grafts usually have to heal 4 months before implants can be placed.
In other cases Bone Grafting in the site of the missing tooth may need to be done (especially if the tooth has been missing for a while). Bone grafting procedures, such as sinus lift and ridge augmentation, at times need to be performed prior to implant placement so that a solid bone foundation is present for the implant. Again, bone grafts usually need 4 months of healing prior to implant placement.
Dental Implant Surgery Appointment:
The implant fixture is surgically placed in the bone at this stage. If necessary, bone graft and membrane will be added to augment any areas of deficient bone and to maximize the success of the implant. Depending on many factors, Dr. Falender may decided to submerge the implant(s) under the gum and allow it to heal or may have it non-submerged and place the healing cap right away. Typical time for bone integration of a dental implant is 4-6 months, depending on the bone quality.
Follow Up Appointments:
Dr. Falender will monitor the healing at 1 week, 2 weeks, 1 month and 4-6 months after surgery (times may vary with each individual case).
If the implant was “buried” under the gum tissue, and after the 4-6 month healing period, the implant can be uncovered and a “healing cap” placed. A healing cap is a small, round component that is attached to the implant. This component contours and shapes the gum tissue so it is ready for the final step. You must wait 2 weeks after the uncovery and healing cap placement appointment before seeing your general dentist for the final impressions.
Appointment To Take Impressions:
After the implants have integrated into your bone in the jaw, and the gum tissue has healed around the healing cap adequately, an impression of the upper and lower jaws will be taken by your Implant dentist. Your implant dentist will also choose a tooth color with you as well as take a record of your bite. These materials are used by laboratory to fabricate the final tooth.
Abutment & Crown Placement Appointment:
After a period of 10-14 business days, the lab will complete your abutment and the final crown and send it to your implant dentist. When you see your dentist, the abutment (part that fits over the portion of the implant that protrudes from the gum line) will be placed, followed by cementing and adjustment of the final crown. All that waiting has paid off and now you have a wonderful new smile!
We look forward to providing families with exceptional care and advanced treatment options. To schedule an appointment with Dr. Falender contact our Indianapolis, IN, dental office today by calling (317) 790-2555. Our office welcomes patients in and around Indianapolis, IN, including Fishers, Lawrence, Greenfield, and the surrounding Southern Indianapolis communities.