Understanding the Three Steps of Dental Implant Surgery

There are three key steps involved in removing and replacing your tooth with a dental implant. Here’s a closer look at what you can expect during the dental implant process.

Step 1: Removal of problem tooth and bone grafting of area

The first step is for us to remove the damaged or decayed tooth. Following the extraction, a bone graft is often necessary. This procedure involves filling the empty space where your tooth once was with bone graft material.

The bone graft material is human bone from a tissue bank that looks like little sand grain particles. It serves an important purpose: to encourage your body to regenerate bone in the extraction site.

Without a bone graft, you can lose up to 50% of the bone in the area. With a bone graft, bone loss is limited to up to 5%. This crucial step sets a solid foundation for the implant.

Once we've bone grafted an area, it needs to heal for about four months before we can move on to the next step, which is placing the implant.

Step 2: Placement of the dental implant

The implant itself resembles a screw that goes into the bone, but you can think of it like a fake root. It's made out of titanium, the same thing a hip replacement or knee replacement is made out of.

The reason we use titanium in medicine and dentistry is because bone actually fuses to it. So even though it looks like a screw, it's not something you can just unscrew later because your bone will actually physically attach to it.

This process takes about three months. During this period, the titanium implant securely anchors itself within your jawbone, setting the stage for the final step.

Step 3: Placement of the abutment and crown

Once the implant has integrated with the jawbone, it’s time to complete the restoration. Your general dentist will take impressions of your teeth to create a model for the final crown.

This model is sent to a dental lab where two key components are made: the abutment and the crown. These get connected together and then screwed into the implant.

The crown is what you will see in your mouth and is designed to match your natural teeth in both color and shape. The entire process, from tooth extraction to the placement of the abutment and crown, typically spans several months.

Each step is critical to ensure that your implant is strong, functional, and aesthetically pleasing.

Replacing a missing tooth with a dental implant is a transformative procedure that not only improves the appearance of your smile but also enhances your oral health. If you are considering dental implants in the Redding, CA or Reno, NV area, call us to schedule a consultation with one of our experienced dental surgery experts.