The first step in the dental implant process is to develop of an individual treatment plan that addresses your needs and the implant options that are best suited to you. A CT scan or 3D x-ray will be needed to establish bone levels for the positioning of the implant.
Next, a small screw made of titanium, is placed into the bone. As the jawbone heals, it grows around the implanted metal post, anchoring it securely and permanently. A temporary crown or denture may be fitted for the duration of the healing process which takes approximately 3 months. Most people who have received dental implants say that there is very little discomfort involved in the procedure. Local anaesthesia is used for the surgical stage, and most patients report that implants involve less pain than a tooth extraction.
Once the implant has integrated in the bone, a small connector - called an abutment - is attached to the implant. Usually made of titanium or gold, the abutment connects the implant to the restoration chosen to replace the missing tooth/teeth. Impressions are taken to create a model of your bite (which captures all of your teeth, their type, and arrangement). The new crown, bridge or denture is based on this model.
The restoration is then screwed onto the implant and the screw hole is covered using a tooth-coloured filling material (composite). Instead of one or more individual crowns, some patients may have attachments placed on the implant that retain and support a removable denture.