Immediate Dental Implants
Dental implants secure to the jawbone, replacing the hidden part of the tooth, the root, and as such are not visible above the gum. Made of titanium or a titanium alloy, immediate dental implants are strong, lightweight, and biocompatible, ensuring the body does not reject them.
The purpose of a immediate dental implants is to anchor bridgework, crowns, or dentures after a tooth is lost or extracted. Immediate implant is a bit of a misnomer, as patients require more than one trip to complete the procedure. The title comes from the fact that the implant happens during the same visit as the extraction.
Immediate Dental Implants Procedure
Today’s dentists prefer immediate implants to conventional or delayed implants, although the procedure is not appropriate for every case. For instance, if you require a major bone graft, your treatment requires a third visit and moves from an immediate dental implants to a conventional or delayed implant. The total treatment time of four to six months is about half the time required to complete a conventional or delayed implant procedure.
During the first visit, your doctor extracts the tooth and then performs a bone graft if necessary. The graft ensures an adequate structure to support the implant and new tooth. During a minor bone graft (sometimes called a socket graft), the periodontist applies powdered bone material to the socket. You may need a larger bone graft, requiring a sinus lift (moving the sinus membrane upward to make room for the new tooth). In either of these instances, the extraction, graft, and implant may safely occur in one treatment.
After the extraction and graft, your doctor screws the implant into the jawbone, closing the gum tissue over the implant. Healing takes three to six months. During this time, implant and jawbone integrate in a process called osseointegration. This creates a strong, stable structure capable of supporting the abutment and crown. Approximately one week after the extraction and implant, return for a follow-up visit, during which your dentist removes sutures and checks your healing progress.
When healing completes, return for the crown fitting. The doctor creates an incision and attaches an abutment, and then takes an impression of the area. The dental laboratory uses the impression to create the crown. A few days later, the dentist receives the crown from the lab and fits it to your implant.
After the Procedure
Follow your doctor’s instructions regarding oral hygiene and healing to ensure optimum results after your procedure. If he or she prescribes antibiotics, take them faithfully to guard against infection. During the first few days after each step of the implant procedure, you should:
- Manage swelling and bruising with ice packs
- Manage discomfort with over-the-counter pain medication
- Keep the treatment area clean by rinsing five to six times per day with a 1-cup mixture of lukewarm water and a teaspoon of salt