Do you feel self-conscious when talking to others or when laughing and smiling because you have gaps in your smile or spaces between your teeth? Then you have probably lost a few teeth due to tooth decay or periodontal disease. If you would like to restore your smile so you can feel confident again, you should consider speaking to a cosmetic dentist about having a dental implants procedure done. Here is what you can expect when you visit a cosmetic dentist to inquire about implants.

The Initial Examination

When you arrive at the dentist office, you can expect to receive a very thorough examination which may include Xrays and impressions. This exam will give your cosmetic dentist insight into the overall health of your teeth, gums, jaw and bones to determine if you’re a candidate for dental implants. If it is deemed that you are a candidate, a second appointment will most likely be made so that the procedure can be performed.

The Pre-Procedure Process

There has to be enough bone available to support the dental implant. In some cases where there is not enough bone available, bone grafting is done to prepare for the placement of the implant. In this procedure, bone taken from another part of your body such as your hip, is transplanted to your jawbone. If this is done, it can take close to a year for the jawbone to be ready for an implant.

Placement of the Implant

Once your jaw has healed and it’s deemed strong enough to support the implant, your dentist will cut into your gum so that the bone is exposed. He or she will then drill a hole in the bone and place the implant post inside. This post is what serves as the new tooth root so it’s implanted rather deeply into the bone so it doesn’t shift or move out of place. You will still have a space between your teeth at this point in time but your dentist could place a temporary denture over the space until you have the crown affixed to the post.

Waiting Period

Once the dental implant post has been put into your jaw bone, the healing process will begin to take place. This is when the jaw bone grows into and unites with the implant post to make a very strong foundation for a crown. You can expect this healing process to take anywhere from 3 to 6 months so you won’t be walking out of your dentist’s office with a new tooth replacement quite yet.

Placement of the Crown

Once the healing process is complete, it’s time to return to the cosmetic dentist office for the placing of the crown on top of the post. This is a rather straight-forward procedure wherein the dentist screws on or cements a crown to the implant abutment. You can expect this portion of the procedure to only take a few minutes. Your new dental implant is now complete wherein you won’t have that gap or space between your teeth anymore! You can eat all the foods you love with dental implants and brush and floss as you normally would as your new implants are permanently in place and should last for several years.