The Dental Implant Procedure, Step by Step
Whether you have one or several missing teeth due to injury, decay or gum disease, perhaps you’re struggling to eat your favorite foods and may even be too embarrassed to smile and socialize. The good news is that dental implants in Cadillac, MI and Traverse, MI can provide life-changing benefits. Dr. Joseph Amalfitano has extensive implant dentistry experience, from placing single implants to expertise in several different full mouth dental implant protocols, including same-day teeth. He also has a proven track record placing zygomatic dental implants, a specialized type of implant offered by only a small number of practices worldwide. In addition, his state-of-the-art dental laboratory ensures your dental implant procedure is highly precise, comfortable and successful in terms of function and aesthetics. Having an on-site dental lab provides exceptional oversight—from planning and surgery to creation of your final prosthetic—all in the comfort of one modern practice setting! Regardless of the type we recommend, dental implants in Traverse City, MI and Cadillac, MI are an optimal solution for reestablishing a fully functional and attractive smile that will help you achieve a better quality of life!
A Superior Solution
Dental implants are considered to be the best long-term solution due to their superb versatility, durability, functionality and natural-looking appearance. The three-part dental implant is a prosthetic tooth replacement that consists of a post, abutment and crown. The post is fabricated from biocompatible titanium or ceramic and serves as a substitute for your natural tooth root. The abutment is a connector placed on or built into the top of the dental implant that connects to the replacement tooth or teeth. Zirconia crowns are custom made to match your natural teeth and attached to the implants to complete the restoration. Once they fuse with your underlying bone, dental implants restore nearly 100% of bite function, prevent bone loss, encourage new bone growth and prevent undesirable facial changes that often occur when missing teeth aren’t replaced or patients choose conventional dentures.
The Four Steps in the Dental Implant Procedure
Step 1: Personalized Consultation
The dental implant process in Traverse City, MI and Cadillac, MI starts with a personalized consultation, clinical exam and digital X-rays. If Dr. Amalfitano detects gum disease, this needs to be treated first to ensure a successful outcome. Cone-beam computed tomography (CBCT) that creates 150–200 images in less than a minute is an advanced imaging technology that enables analyzing your bone structure, nerve tissue and sinus cavities. The images are compiled into a single 3D model of your jawbone that helps Dr. Amalfitano precisely plan your implant placement. Before you leave, all additional steps are discussed so you know what to expect throughout the entire dental implant process, including sedation options, costs, insurance coverage and financing.
Step 2: Precise and Guided Dental Implant Placement
If necessary, Dr. Amalfitano can usually extract any remaining teeth during your dental implant surgery visit. Extraction and/or surgery is performed under your choice of sedation to ensure you’re ultimate comfort during the dental implant procedure. If you’re receiving full arch dental implants, the posterior implants are placed at an angle towards the rear of your mouth and into the anterior maxilla, a region of the jaw with higher bone density. Angling the implants typically eliminates the need for bone grafting because it increases stability and reduces tension on the bone when biting and chewing. If you do need bone grafting, Dr. Amalfitano is skilled in different bone grafting and augmentation techniques to make it possible to successfully place dental implants. Once the implants are placed, abutments are attached to the ends of the implants that serve as the mounting posts for the replacement tooth prosthesis. With full arch dental implants, you’ll be fitted with a temporary prosthesis the same day as surgery that will restore smile aesthetics and some function until you heal and receive your permanent new teeth.
Step 3: Healing and Follow-Up
After dental implants have been placed, you’ll be given standard guidelines for postsurgical oral care. Pain relievers will be prescribed as needed, and we’ll also share tips on how to properly clean your mouth to accelerate healing and recovery. Before you leave our office, you’ll schedule a follow-up appointment. At this visit, Dr. Amalfitano monitors your progress and ensures the sites are healing properly. It typically takes three to six months to complete the tooth implant process. During this time, implant sites heal and the dental implants integrate with your jawbone. Once the healing process is complete, you’ll return to our office so we can take another set of impressions to craft your final prosthesis.
Step 4: A Beautiful and Confident New Smile
After they fuse with your jawbone, dental implants function like natural tooth roots, providing a secure permanent support for your new fixed crown or set of teeth. The final stage of the process is fitting you with a customized restoration created from natural-looking and highly durable zirconia. You’ll be able to eat and speak without any pain caused by friction or irritation, with the added bonus of a beautiful smile and regained confidence!