In Richmond, Indiana, dental implant placement is widely regarded as the treatment of choice for people with missing teeth. However, upon hearing that oral surgery is involved, some patients are reluctant to move forward – which is unfortunate, as procedures are rather straightforward for specialists in tooth replacement.
From our viewpoint, the experience of losing a tooth and living with the decreased function of an incomplete smile can be far more unpleasant than the process of getting dental implants. And thanks to anesthesia, Richmond patients can have safe, comfortable oral surgery procedures.
How Dental Implant Placement Works
Dental implants are comprised of three parts:
- The titanium post, which acts as a replacement tooth root
- The restoration, which may be crown, bridge or full dental arch
- The abutment, which connects the post to the dental restoration
The placement of the dental implants is considered to be oral surgery because the post (or posts) must be inserted into the jawbone. This isn’t as invasive as it sounds – the procedure requires only minor incisions in the gums. And as we mentioned, anesthesia helps keep patients calm and comfortable.
Oral Surgery to Restore Jawbone Density
Sometimes, before implant placement can take place, Richmond patients need to get a jawbone graft. Implants need a strong foundation of bone to remain stable and secure, and when someone has been living with missing teeth for quite some time, bone loss is to be expected. After all, with the tooth roots gone, the jawbone lacks the stimulation it needs to retain a healthy structure.
A jawbone graft offers a solution – and while bone grafting is another oral surgery procedure, it’s minimally invasive and, in some cases, doesn’t take a separate appointment. Graft material is placed within the socket area, where the implant post goes, and the step involves just a small incision. Over the course of several weeks, the graft fuses with the jawbone, giving it the strength and stability required.
Should You See an Oral Surgeon for Dental Implants?
While some dentists are trained in implant placement and may have the ability to restore smiles, going to an oral surgeon is the safest option. Anyone who is even slightly wary of the tooth replacement procedure can feel reassured by having an expert in oral surgery take on the task.
Also, if a jawbone graft is needed, which is often the case for patients with missing teeth, a visit to a local oral surgeon may be a must since most dentists aren’t trained or skilled in bone grafting.
What’s more, some local oral surgeons – including the team here at Richmond Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery – specialize in tooth replacement. And research shows that when placed by an experienced specialist, implants have a success rate of 98 percent. For replacement teeth that can last a lifetime, an oral surgeon is the professional to see.