It can feel distressing to face the loss of one or more teeth. Fortunately, there are lots of options available to keep your self-confidence high. One of the top options for replacing missing teeth are dental implants. Dental implants look great, feel natural, and give patients amazing benefits. Explore the simple 3 step process for completing your smile with dental implants at Smile Columbia Dentistry in Columbia, SC.
Step One: Placing the Dental Implant
The first step for dental implants is placing the dental implant. Before Dr. Hahn begins your dental surgery, he needs to ensure you are a good candidate for dental implants. This involves a dental exam, CT scan, and x-rays. Good candidates will have a healthy amount of bone mass in their jaw and healthy gums free of gum disease.
If he decides you are a good candidate for our exclusive Smiles by Tomorrow protocol, you can get your implant placed in one procedure. With Smiles by Tomorrow we use an advanced digital workflow to precisely plan your implant procedure. Dr. Hahn will surgically insert the dental implants. This involves placing the dental implant rod that resembles a screw into the jawbone. With Smiles by Tomorrow, we can move on to the next step right away. With other implants, the jawbone will need to heal anywhere from three to six months before the next step is completed.
Step Two: Attaching the Abutment (Optional)
With Smiles by Tomorrow, we can do this step right away as part of a single procedure. And some implants (like zirconia implants) don’t need abutments at all.
With traditional implants, once the jawbone has officially healed from placement, Dr. Hahn will take care of step two for your dental implants. Step two is when he places the abutment by attaching it to the dental implant. The abutment is the piece that connects the dental crown to the dental implant. Dr. Hahn will need to make a small incision in your gums to attach the abutment. After this step, the gums must heal one last time before moving onto the next step.
Step Three: Attaching the Prosthetic Tooth
With Smiles by Tomorrow, we can attach a prosthetic tooth to your dental implant in the same procedure where we placed the implant. This means you can leave our office with an attractive implant and never have to deal with a gap in your smile.
Once your gums have healed from step two, Dr. Hahn will take impressions of the abutment and surrounding area of your missing tooth. The impressions are sent to a dental lab where your dental crown is made. Once it returns, Dr. Hahn will ensure it fits correctly and looks right before attaching it to the abutment. Now your steps to a complete smile with dental implants in Columbia are complete!
After this (sometimes less than) three-step procedure, patients are left with a dental implant and beautiful restoration to complete their smile. The restoration looks and feels like a natural tooth, and even functions like one as well. Patients can expect to enjoy chewing on their favorite foods without worry. With proper care, you can expect your dental implants to last for many years to come.