We at Barbara Bell DDS, PA strive to save your natural teeth for as long as possible. However, when something happens that makes a tooth no longer restorable then a dental implant might be the solution for a lost tooth. Dental Implants are changing the way people live. They are designed to provide a foundation for replacement teeth which look, feel and function like natural teeth. Implants are comprised of an implant post placed by a reputable implant specialist and an abutment and crown place by our office.
WHAT IS THE IMPLANT TIMELINE?
Tooth Replacement: The implant process begins when a tooth or teeth need to be replaced. This may begin with a referral from Drs. Barbara or Katie Bell or Dr. Susan Rofe, to an oral surgeon for a tooth extraction, or because of a pre-existing missing tooth.
Consultation: You would schedule a consultation with in implant specialist to evaluate the implant needs. This consultation includes an evaluation of bone, discussion of treatment options, and a CBCT (3-D x-ray).
Extraction/Bone Graft: After the consultation, you would schedule the treatment which could include a tooth extraction, a bone graft and/or a sinus lift. Your specialist will extract the teeth discussed at your consultation. Any necessary bone grafting may be done at this time and will yield a 3-4 month healing process before moving forward with implant placement.
Bone Graft Healing Period: During the 3 month healing process you may have a few extra visits to evaluate healing. (If a surgical guide is needed, models will be taken a few weeks prior to implant placement).
Implant Placement: The implant placement will take about 30-60 minutes. If you are being sedated, it is important to remember to have nothing to eat or drink (including water) 6 hours before your appointment, and you may need to be accompanied by a driver.
Implant Healing Period: The average healing period is about 3-4 months. During this time you may also have follow-up visits to ensure that everything is healing properly and the implant is integrating into the bone.
Implant Uncovering: If gum tissue has formed over the implant it will be removed and a healing cap will be placed to give us access to your implant. This procedure takes 20-30 minutes and a healing time of 2 weeks is usually expected before visiting Drs. Barbara and Katie Bell and Dr. Susan Rofe. It is important for the specialist to send the appropriate small attachment parts to our office or have the patient hand carry these to their impression appointment.
Dentist: There are two appointments you will schedule at Barbara Bell DDS, PA, and these are usually one month apart. Appointment one will be to take impressions for your permanent crown. The small attachment parts will be needed at this time. Appointment two is for the placement of your permanent crown. The fees for the implant specialist are separate from those collected from our office. Our staff can help you estimate insurance benefits and co-pays.
***The entire implant process can take anywhere from 6 months to a year to complete, but once finished, your new tooth will look, function and feel like like the one you lost.