The journey to dental implants can be daunting for some patients in when they hear that the average timeline is four to six months for a complete implant treatment. Despite this, many of our patients have found dental implants to be a valuable investment of time and resources.
There are four essential steps in the dental implants process. However, your individual treatment with Dr. Chao may differ, depending on the nature of your smile goals and timeline for your custom plan.
Before moving forward with any major medical or dental treatment, always consult with a professional. For patients who reside in Pleasanton, CA, Dr. Chao at Pleasanton Prosthodontics is the premier leader in dental implant treatments.
One consultation with Dr. Chao includes an evaluation of your oral health, a determination of your candidacy for dental implants, and a discussion on the best treatment options for you. The consultation is also an optimal time to ask questions about cost and financing, the benefits of dental implants, or any other inquiries that you’re curious about. Our Pleasanton staff will work with you to ensure a convenient and comfortable dental implant experience.
Should Dr. Chao determine that you may not have the jawbone structure to support the dental implant yet, she may recommend a bone graft supplemental treatment. This procedure can be minimally invasive, depending on your condition, and is meant to revitalize the jawbone to grow stronger and create a better foundation for osseointegration to take place. Osseointegration is a vital step in the dental implant process, whereby the implant has time to connect to the jawbone. Depending on the size of the graft, oftentimes this procedure can be done at the same time as the initial stages of the dental implant.
The dental implant is divided into three pieces, the first of which is the titanium fixture. Both the fixture and the abutment are constructed from titanium, but the fixture is embedded first. This is the piece that also triggers osseointegration, the fusion process in which the implant is bonded to the bone. This could take anywhere from a few weeks to a few months, depending on the number of implants you’ll be receiving.
The abutment is the cap to the fixture, sealing it below the gums, but protruding above the gums. The abutment is the anchor for the prosthetic crown and secures it in place. For both the fixture and the abutment, Dr. Chao will work with you to determine the best size and shape of these pieces so that they fit comfortably in your mouth and among your neighboring teeth.
This final piece will also be a collaborative effort between you and Dr. Chao. The prosthetic crown is constructed from porcelain, or other material, and is not only shaped to best resemble a viable tooth, but can also be glazed and stained to look exactly the same as the rest of your natural teeth. This is meant to ensure that your new dental implant blends in seamlessly with your smile, where even your close friends and family may not be able to tell the difference.
Since there is such a large gap between steps 2 and 3, we don’t expect our patients to be bedridden the entire time. Patients can go about their normal business while their implant area is healing, and this includes travel plans you’ve made. Be sure to let us know when you’re traveling, so that we can make the appointments at more opportune times. If your vacation is extending beyond the time you specified, please let us know.
Now that you’ve seen the steps of the dental implant process, don’t let these months of waiting deter you from seeking the treatments you need. If you reside in Pleasanton, CA contact us today at Pleasanton Prosthodontics to begin your path to a beautiful smile. Schedule a consultation with Dr. Chao to discover if you’re a candidate for dental implants.
Doesn’t it make sense to take the first step to the smile of your dreams?
Dr. Maggie Chao
1475 Cedarwood Lane Suite C
Pleasanton, CA 94566
Monday: 9AM – 4:30PM
Wednesday: 9AM – 4:30PM
Friday: 9AM – 4:30PM