Dental implants are a great way to provide a permanent replacement for missing teeth. The traditional way to get implants is by cutting through the gums and implanting a metal post in a hole drilled into the jawbone. It then takes several months to heal, after which a crown is put on top of the post. With new technology, the process is less invasive and goes much more quickly. Here is more information about the new computer-guided dental implant procedure.
Exam and X-Rays
As with any type of dental implant, the dentist needs to perform an oral exam and get x-rays of the area where you will get the implant. Computer-guided implant procedures requires the same amount of jawbone that a traditional procedure requires. The x-rays will look at the bone of the missing tooth and make sure there is enough strong bone to support the implant. If not, you need to get bone grafts and wait for more bone to grow before getting the implant procedure. Impressions are also taken of your jaw and nearby teeth to get the accurate location for the replacement teeth.
Following your first set of x-rays and examination, you go to a radiologist's office that works with your dentist and get a cone beam CT scan of your jaw. This gives them more detailed information of your jaw bone, which is needed when they use the dental implants procedure. The lab uses this information to create a 3D model of your jaw and jawbone where the implant will go. When they are complete, they use it to provide you with the computer-guided implant.
Getting the Implants
A few ldays ater, you are ready to visit your dentist and get the first stage of the dental implant procedure done. Instead of using a big incision to get through the jawbone and implant the post manually, the computer-guided software and 3D model allow the dentist to make just a small incision in order to get through the gums. The metal post is guided with this advanced technology and the computer program into the jaw bone.
After the post is implanted in the bone, nearby teeth are covered with a surgical template. This works like a night guard and is worn all the time during recovery. It helps prevent infection of the nearby teeth. The guide is placed using stabilization pins.
To learn more about dental implants, contact a company like Oral Surgery Center.
After the Procedure
While the procedure itself goes faster and offers you less discomfort after the procedure, the recovery process is the same. You still need to wait a few months for osseointegration to occur. This is when the jawbone heals around the metal post, holding it in place. After the healing is done, you return to the dentist to have a crown placed on top of the post.