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The Dental Implants Process – Corpus Christi, TX

How Implants Become Part of Your Smile

A diagram of an integrated dental implant.

It’s no surprise that dental implants are a complex treatment that requires many steps to complete. However, many people don’t realize that the treatment has been around for a long time, which means the process has had decades to be perfected regardless of the complexity of your needs. If you aren’t very familiar with dental implants or the implantation process, take a moment to learn about the steps before your next consultation. If you believe that implants are right for you, don’t wait to give our office a call!

Initial Dental Implant Consultation

Like any surgical implantation, extensive planning is required to ensure the most successful outcome possible. The initial consultation is not only intended to confirm your needs for tooth replacement. It’s also meant to help us determine your eligibility to receive implants. While most patients can undergo treatment, some may need bone grafting if their current bone tissue is insufficient. This procedure takes bone tissue either from a donated cadaver or from other areas of the body and attaches it to natural bone so it can grow. Once the area has fully healed, we can reevaluate your jaw and confirm if an implant will properly integrate.

Dental Implant Surgery

A dentist showing a patient an X-ray.

After all planning has been completed, we’ll schedule you for surgery at a later date. During the surgery, your mouth is numbed with local anesthetic. If you decide to opt for sedation dentistry, we’ll also administer it to make you feel comfortable. The first step involves making a small incision inside your gum tissue, then placing the implant directly into your jaw. The prosthetic representing your new root is made from biocompatible titanium, so there’s little worry of whether or not the implant will naturally integrate with your existing bone and gum tissue.

Dental Implant Osseointegration & Abutment

An older patient smiling at a dental employee.

Dental implants require several months of healing before a permanent restoration can be placed on top. A temporary abutment may also be placed, which is a component that ensures the gum tissue properly heals around the implant. The implant requires a long healing period because it is undergoing a process known as osseointegration, where natural bone tissue bonds with the titanium post. Once fully healed, your new root will be anchored inside your jaw, creating an incredibly durable tooth replacement. During this healing period, which can be anywhere between two and six months depending on the complexity of your treatment, you’ll be given a temporary restoration to cover the implant.

Placement of Dental Implant Restorations

An older couple smiling.

After the implant has fully healed, we’ll be able to replace the healing cap with a permanent abutment. Our office takes an impression of this abutment so the permanent restoration can be made. After another two weeks or so of healing, you’ll come back to our office to have your new tooth, bridge or denture placed. This restoration is fully customized to blend in with your current smile, keep your bite even, and make biting, chewing and smiling feel natural. While this restoration cannot develop decay like tooth enamel, the gum tissue underneath can still collect plaque and become infected if you don’t practice daily oral care.