Dental treatment has advanced to the extent that people who have lost all their teeth can have a full set of replacement prosthetic teeth that are supported by as few as four implants. This article discusses the main stages that you will go through in order to receive your set of replacement teeth.
Taking Your History
The dentist starts by reviewing your dental and general health. Factors such as how long you have been wearing dentures are considered in order to forecast the extent to which your jawbones are stable. Any existing dental conditions, such as gum disease, are also addressed at this stage.
The dental and medical history taken in the step above gives the dental surgeon pointers about what needs additional investigation. He or she will then order CT scans of your dental structures so that a detailed understanding of your current dental health can be attained. The scans also provide data that will help the subsequent steps to be done effectively.
This is perhaps the most crucial stage during the process because the success of the restorations depends on how well the treatment was planned and executed. The dentist generates a computer model of your dental structures so that several factors, such as implant positioning and gum-line adjustment, are decided.
The surgeon will then perform the surgery to insert the implants. That surgical procedure may also involve extracting your remaining teeth. Your bones may also be reshaped in order to correct any anomalies that developed after you lost your natural teeth.
Placement of Temporary Teeth
The dental surgeon places temporary teeth made from acrylic onto the implants. Those temporary teeth remain in place for several weeks until your gum and bone tissues have healed after the surgery. Dietary restrictions are usually given in order to avoid placing unnecessary strain on the implants when they have not yet fused fully with your bones.
Placement of Permanent Teeth
The dentist will then replace the temporary teeth with permanent ones after full implant fusion and gum healing has taken place. Those permanent teeth look and function as natural teeth.
The entire treatment process lasts a shorter time than would have been possible if you had decided to replace your teeth one by one. However, the success of the replacement process will depend on how well you adhere to all the instructions given by your dentist. Any mistake that you make (such as eating hard food before the implants fuse with your jawbone) can compromise the treatment process. You should talk to your dentist if you have questions about procedures like all on 4 dental implants.