During your initial consultation, your dentist will take some x-rays and examine your teeth to diagnose your problem. After assessing you clinically, they will recommend potential treatment plans, one of which may be the placement of a dental implant. They may also be able to tell from your x-rays if you will require a bone graft procedure. If you decide to proceed with the implant option then your dentist will explain the timescales and details of the procedure to you. They will also make an impression of your mouth to serve as a guide for the rest of the treatment.
Pre surgery if tooth extraction is required
If your existing tooth has a poor prognosis then it will need to be extracted. This will be done under a local anaesthetic (an injection to numb the area). Any tooth extraction will be done extremely carefully by your dentist. They will preserve as much of your jawbone as possible to host the implant. Your dentist may decide that the implant can be placed immediately. Alternatively, they may recommend a healing period to allow your gum tissues to heal over the site before placing the implant at a later date. In some cases, your dentist may place a ‘socket graft’. This is involves placing bone graft material into the empty tooth socket, to preserve or improve bone levels before placing an implant. This is a very common procedure but is often not necessary.
If you need some minor bone grafting (bone growth) then your dentist will let you know. This is usually done under a local anaesthetic. Your dentist may need to raise a small gum flap from your gum to access your jawbone. They will then clean the area to give EthOss a strong direct contact with your bone.
Inserting your implant
When it’s time to put your implant in, your dentist will again give you a local anaesthetic and raise a small gum flap. After it has been cleaned, the implant site will be prepared by gently drilling a small hole into the jawbone. This is where your implant will be screwed in. At some point during this procedure, either before or after the implant is placed (or both), if more bone is needed then EthOss may be added as a white paste which dries in a few minutes. Your implant will then be left in place for around 12 weeks, giving it time to fully integrate with your jawbone. You should be given a temporary tooth during this time.
Checking your implant / removing your stitches
Your stitches will typically be removed around a week later. Some types of implant will sit above your gum (covered by a ‘healing cap’), while others will sit below it. After the healing period of around 12 weeks, your implant should be ready to support your replacement tooth. Implants under the gum will require a second small procedure to expose them
Adding your abutment
Once your implant has integrated with the surrounding bone and become stable, you will return to your dentist to add an abutment on top. This is what your new tooth will be attached to. At this point, a new impression of your tooth and surrounding teeth will be made. Your dentist will use this to make your new permanent tooth, crafting it to match the shape and colour of your natural teeth. A new temporary tooth may be attached until it is ready.
Fitting your crown and follow-up
Your new tooth will be attached to the abutment by your dentist. They will then check how it looks and works, to make sure you are completely happy.