Most patients are unaware of the implant process and how simple the procedure can be. Our process from start to finish aims to eliminate all confusion and instill confidence in our patients. Our office will be available every step of the way to answer questions and provide direction to what comes next.
A patient is usually referred by their general dentist to an oral surgeon, but it is not required. Patients are first seen in our office by our Implant Coordinator for a consultation. During this consultation, a 3D x-ray is taken that will be evaluated by Dr. Bulloch to determine a personalized treatment plan for the patient. At the end of the consultation, the surgery date is scheduled.
During the surgery, the necessary teeth will be extracted and implants will likely be placed at the same time. This will cut healing time down in half and save the need for a second future surgery. About 95% of the time this is the case. There are certain circumstances, however where the implant would need to be placed at a later date.
The recovery after an implant is typically 2-3 days with slight discomfort. The patient will be scheduled for regular checks to ensure proper healing. For esthetic teeth (those visible in your smile), a temporary crown is generally connected to the implant which does not come in and out during the healing phase. Patients are instructed not to bite or chew with those teeth until the implant has healed.
The healing time of an implant can vary from 4-6 months depending the area the implant was placed and other factors surrounding individual situations. Once healing is complete, the patient will have a final healing check with Dr. Bulloch. Once cleared, the patient will meet back with their general dentist to have an impression taken that will be used to make the final crown.
The final crown will take 1-2 weeks to make. The patient will then again go back to their general dentist to have the newly made final crown placed. From this point on, the patient will have a fully functioning tooth. Care for this tooth is the same as caring for natural teeth; brush, floss and visit your dentist regularly.