Is a Dental Implant Considered Surgery?

dental implant Salida, CA

When at least one tooth is missing from a jawbone, a dental implant can function as a replacement. Undergoing this procedure can not only prevent the jawbone from suffering bone loss due to atrophy but also allow for normal chewing and speech.

While not very intensive, a dental implant is considered a form of outpatient surgery. It does not typically necessitate a hospital stay and can usually be performed at a dental office. However, because a successful procedure requires the jawbone to heal around the implant securely, it can take many steps and several months to complete. 

Surgical process

The damaged tooth is completely removed, including the root. If necessary, bone grafting is performed to ensure the jawbone is dense enough to support an implant. To place the implant in the jawbone, a dental professional will cut through the gums into the bone. A hole is then drilled deep into the jawbone so the post can function securely as the root of the artificial replacement tooth.

In some cases, another procedure is necessary to place the post extension that the artificial replacement tooth attaches to. Called the abutment, the post extension is screwed into the top of the implant post. Because the jawbone heals over top of the post, a minor incision is usually necessary to expose the post so the abutment can be attached. This typically requires only local anesthesia. Other situations allow the implant post and the post extension to be placed simultaneously. 

Healing process

When bone grafting is required, the jawbone must heal completely before an implant is inserted. Once the implant is in place, a significant amount of time is needed so the bone can form a tight seal around the implant and the risk of infection is lower. This time period can vary anywhere from three to nine months, depending on the patient's overall health, and should not be rushed.

If the abutment requires an additional procedure to attach, the gum tissue will need about two weeks to heal where it was cut open. Once a dental professional has determined the jawbone is strong enough for the new tooth to be properly supported and used normally, the artificial tooth can be secured to the abutment. After the artificial tooth has been chosen and attached, the dental implant process is complete. 

Conclusion

Getting a dental implant requires at least one outpatient surgery that can, in most cases, be performed at a dental office. In ideal cases, no bone grafting is involved and both the post and the abutment can be placed at the same time. More often, three separate surgeries are required for bone grafting, implant placement and abutment attachment.

While the required surgeries may not take long to perform, the entire process of getting a dental implant can take up to a year to complete. This is largely due to the amount of time the jawbone and gums need to properly heal in order to ensure successful bonding between the bone, gum tissue and implant post.

Are you considering a dental implant in the Salida area? Get more information at https://www.dentistsalida.com.

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