Dental Implant Surgery
When a dental implant is required it is often done in stages over a few months, with a day surgery to place the implant post. For the surgery you may have local anesthetic or it may require an IV sedation, and the consultation with your dentist will decide which, as well as an estimated time frame of how long it will take to complete the full process, which can be a couple months up to a half a year in some cases, depending on the healing of the individual.
At the first appointment there will be a consultation with the dentist, and this will likely include the pre-operation information gathering such as allergies, goals, and also xrays and other necessary tests. It is important to ensure that the bone the implant will be fused with is strong enough to hold the implant long term.
During this time it is important to discuss any and all concerns, including if you smoke, the healing process, insurance and coverage, cost, which method of anesthesia will be used, and what the process will look like. In Vancouver Dr. Ayoughi is able to offer treatment from the consultation to the full procedure and the aftercare.
The second appointment is often the surgery date. You may have been given antibiotics to take before this date and it is important that all directions be followed carefully in that event. It is to assist with the healing process and lower the risk of infection during and after the procedure. Either a local anesthetic will be used to numb the mouth area, keeping you fully awake and able to communicate, while the implant is placed. In other cases an IV sedation may be used, general anesthesia is like a sleep state where no pain or discomfort will be felt, but you will also be unable to communicate, in the case of IV sedation especially it is important to have a family member or a friend to drive you home after the procedure. During this surgery the gums will be cut open in the area of the implant and the post will be placed to fuse into the bone.
After the implant has been placed the dentist will close the gums around the post the best they can, and a small stitch or two may be used to hold them closed for the healing period. In some cases the full procedure can be completed, where the top is placed that will cover the post and support the crown, and then the crown added to the top. However in most cases there will be weeks or months of healing time before the next appointment, when the top will be placed and the crown prepared. The crown is then installed in a third appointment, after it has been created to fit the space and look similar to the teeth surrounding it.
Once the crown ahs been placed the final healing procedure can continue and after care instructions should be followed. This is the final step in the dental implant surgery and regular dental care should continue on an ongoing basis.