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Dental Implants

implant illustration

For patients with missing teeth, one of the best ways to replace it is by placing dental implants. The implant process can be broken down into two major steps. The first is the surgical placement of the implant into the bone. Once the implant fuses into the bone, we are ready to start the process of placing the implant crown. It takes about 4 months for the implant to fuse with the bone and for the dental implant to be ready to have the crown applied. 

The implant process can be challenging for patients to understand:

  1. Schedule a comprehensive examination by ME Dental and oral surgeon to ensure an implant can be placed in the extraction site. We need to see the bone level in that site, the health of your gums, and if there are any cavities present in other teeth. It is important to treat active decay before placing a dental implant.

  2. Once we determine an implant can be placed, we'll schedule you for the implant surgery

  3. The surgeon will place the implant in the empty site. You won’t feel any pain during the process due to the local anesthesia. Post operative soreness can be present for a few days.

  4. It takes roughly four months for the implant to integrate and heal with the bone. 

  5. After four months, you will return to ME Dental to take an impression of the implant, gums and teeth around so we can fabricate the implant crown. This is an important step as we ensure that the implant crown made will look like your teeth, has a shape that allows for easy cleaning and care, and works functionally with your bite.

  6. After two weeks, the implant crown will come back from the lab and you'll come in for your final appointment. We first ensure that the crown fits well, has good contacts with the adjacent teeth, has a good bite, and has good esthetics. Once ensuring this, we are ready to screw in the implant. The implant crown can either be screwed into the implant or be cemented on to the implant abutment. 

Caring for Dental Implants:

If a dental implant is placed properly and the crown is well made, care for your implant is fairly straightforward.

In order to care for your dental implants, we advise our San Francisco patients to brush and floss their teeth throughout the day like they normally would. Additionally, it is important to schedule regular dental exams and cleanings to ensure the implant is being cared for properly and the rest of your teeth are healthy. This step is important because while implants cannot become infected themselves, the teeth and gums around them can. The infection can spread and put your dental implant at risk. 

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