If you are thinking about getting dental implants or have made the decision to get them, it might be helpful to understand how the entire process works. The dental implant process is invasive and will take a few months to complete as opposed to getting dentures or a dental bridge. Exactly how long it will take is dependent on each unique patient and several factors including: the number and location of the implants and whether or not pre-implant treatment is needed.
Fuller Dental is a full-service dental implant office located in Burlington, NC. Every step, from the initial consultation to the final restoration, will be completed in our office. Our dental practice is run by Dr. Rawley H. Fuller and his experienced dental team. All our dentists possess advanced training in implant dentistry guaranteeing beautiful, functioning restorations.
The Dental Implant Process
The process to get dental implants will take place in two general phases: the placement phase and the restoration phase.
The placement phase involves all the planning and procedures that will take place before implantation and then the actual surgical placement of the dental implants.
- Consultation: The first step to beginning the implant process is to schedule a consultation with Dr. Fuller. He will evaluate and analyze your teeth, gums, bone structure and oral health to determine if you qualify for dental implants.
- Planning: Your dentist will spend a considerable amount of time planning your treatment. This plan will include your pre-implant procedures, number dental implants being placed, the precise location of the implants, which kind of restoration you need, and many more important details.
- Pre-Implant Procedures: Depending on your unique needs and the state of your oral health, you may require treatment before your implants can be placed. This may include extracting damaged or diseased teeth. Some people need bone grafting or sinus augmentation if there is insufficient or weak bone tissue. Your dentist may recommend these or other treatments to increase the chances of your implant success.
- Surgical Placement: The surgical placement of your dental implants will take place at our Burlington, NC dentist office. Your dentist will surgically place the implants in their precise, pre-determined location in the jaw bone. There are many different types and sizes of implants that can be used based on the number and location of your missing teeth. Either a healing abutment is attached to the implants and left exposed or your gums will be close up and the healing begins.
After the surgical placement of the implants, it can take up to six months for the implants to fuse with the surrounding jaw bone. Then the team at Fuller Dental will begin to prepare you for the placement of the final restoration.
- Abutments: A tiny metal piece called an abutment is connected to the implant post after it has fully fused with the surrounding bone. If a healing abutment was not used, we will need to uncover the implant to attach the permanent abutment. Abutments will sit at the gum line to support the dental restoration.
- Restoration: Your dentist will finally be able to attach your custom dental restoration. This dental prosthesis will look, feel and function just like a natural tooth or teeth. A dental crown will be attached if you are only missing one tooth, a dental bridge will be attached if you are missing multiple teeth, or a denture will be attached if you are missing an entire row of teeth.
- After Care: Dr. Fuller will want to schedule a follow up appointment to make sure your new teeth are functioning as planned. He will also give you instructions on how to care for your dental implant supported restoration. If cared for properly, your dental implants can last a lifetime.