Dental implants are the right choice for those who want a full set of teeth but have suffered from tooth loss due to decay, accident or illness. Dental implants are far superior to dentures, avoiding all the problems with ulcers, movement and weakness.

Extracting the damaged teeth and then using bone grafting to prepare your mouth for dental implants surgery could likely be a part of the process. Tooth extraction and bone grafting make implants more stable, give them a higher rate of success.

While the entire process of getting dental implants can be time consuming and seem intimidating, here at Dental Artistry we help you to understand and prepare for the procedures. You can be assured that our dentists are among the best in NZ, and we work hard to give you a mouth full of strong teeth that let you look and feel your best, providing great oral health for the long term.

Dental implant surgery has multiple steps

Once you have made the decision, in conjunction with our dental team at Dental Artistry, that dental implants are the right choice for you, there are multiple steps we undertake.

First, we have a detailed consultation. This will most likely involve taking X-rays in addition to a thorough examination of your mouth. We ascertain the condition of your remaining natural teeth and bone substructure to determine whether extraction and bone grafting is needed. During this process, we start planning the implant placement location for the highest chance of success.

The dental implants give your new teeth a solid base and support, so it’s vital the jawbone structure we drill into provides a great foundation. The implant type, the condition of your jawbone, and how severe any bone loss is will determine the number of steps involved in your dental implant procedure. There may be weeks of healing time between procedures, which means that the entire process from start to finish could take several months, but the end result is worth it.

Why you may need to undergo tooth extraction

No one likes having a tooth extracted, we understand that completely. However, in order for dental implant surgery to happen, if there is a tooth (full or partial) at the site of where the proposed implants are to be placed, this may need to be extracted. This is either due to its poor condition, or that it will be a more stable solution to replace the entire quadrant of teeth.

We undertake the tooth extraction as an outpatient procedure, done under local anaesthetic.

What is bone grafting?

Getting your jawline prepared for the dental implants is the next step, and this is where the bone grafting procedure comes in. If your own natural jawbone is not thick enough or is too soft to support the proposed dental implants, then you require bone grafting to give you a stronger base for the implants. The bone graft ensures the foundation for your implants is strong and stable.

Bone grafts can be done using a range of different bone grafting material. These could be natural (your own bone from another part of your body or an animal bone) or synthetic materials (artificially crafted using various bone substitute substances). Once the bone graft has been completed, it could take several months for the new bones to grow adequately to support the implants, depending on whether your natural bones require just minor help or more major support. If the required bone grafting is minor, we may be able to combine it with the dental implant procedure itself, minimizing time spent on the process.

The tooth implant process

Implanting the new tooth involves cutting into your gum tissue to expose the bone below, and then drilling holes to accommodate the dental implant metal post, deep in the bone. This is essential as the metal post acts as the root of the tooth being implanted, giving it the strength needed to be able to eat an apple or steak with no worries.

After this procedure is complete, we wait for the process of osseointegration, wherein your jawbone will grow into, and then fuse with, the dental implant. It takes some time for the bone to grow, so there could be a waiting time of months to ensure this happens properly. If this step isn’t completed correctly, there is a risk the implant could fail.

The next step is to place the abutment, which is the piece to which your new tooth crown will get attached. In some cases, this step can be combined with the dental implant post placement. After the abutment is placed, there is a waiting period of around a couple of weeks before your Dental Artistry oral surgeon can attach your artificial replacement tooth and complete the surgical procedure.

The entire process could be simple enough to be done in one or two visits, or it could take many months. This depends on whether you need a bone graft or not. Contact us today to discuss the options for you, and how we can help give you your smile back.