Placing dental implants can involve one or more surgeries, depending on the health of your jaw and the type of implant you choose. Dr. Thaddeus Vincent and his team at Palmetto Family Dentistry can perform all aspects of dental implant treatment at our Sumter, SC, practice. We invite you to learn more about what to expect during the dental implant procedure.

Preparing for Dental Implants

If decay or gum disease is present, these issues will need to be resolved prior to your dental implant procedure. Other factors must also be considered, including:

  • The number of teeth that require replacement
  • Whether extractions, bone grafts, or other preparatory procedures are necessary
  • The condition of your jawbone

During your initial consultation at our practice, your doctor will perform a thorough assessment and take digital x-rays to determine your candidacy for implants. Your medical history will also be reviewed in detail to ensure you are healthy enough to undergo oral surgery. If you qualify for this type of treatment, you will be provided with a detailed list of pre-operative guidelines, which may include:

  • Rinsing with a special antibacterial mouthwash
  • Taking antibiotics a few days prior to your dental implant procedure
  • Eating a healthy, well-balanced breakfast the morning of your surgery (unless you are going to be sedated)
  • Temporarily discontinuing certain medications, such as blood thinners

Receiving Traditional Implants

In most cases, the initial traditional dental implant procedure can be completed in about one hour at our office. The treatment is performed under local anesthesia; however, we also offer sedation for those who feel anxious or are unable to sit comfortably for long periods due to arthritis or another condition.

The staff at Palmetto Family Dentistry always goes the extra mile to ensure your comfort and satisfaction.

Next, your procedure will follow a few fundamental steps:

Incisions: Your doctor will create a small incision in the gums to access the jawbone.

Preparing the bone: A specialized dental drill is used to create a pilot hole in the jawbone. Next, the site is prepared by achieving the appropriate depth and diameter.

Dental implant placement: Once the jawbone has been prepared, the dental implant is carefully placed into the site.

Sutures: Finally, the incisions are closed with surgical sutures.

Once your dental implant is placed, three to six months of healing are typically required before the final restoration can be attached. During this time, the bone tissue fuses to the implant in a process called osseointegration. When your dentist confirms that osseointegration is complete, you will undergo a second procedure in which the gums are incised, and an abutment piece is attached to the implant. The abutment will connect the implant to your crown, bridge, or denture. Once the gums have healed, your dentist can begin taking impressions that will be used to create your restorations.

Receiving Mini Implants

Mini implants are about half the diameter of traditional implants, and they are often recommended to those with a small degree of bone recession as a way of avoiding the need for a bone graft. Placing mini implants involves inserting the device directly through the gum tissue and into the jawbone. In many cases, these implants can support a restoration right away. As you heal, you will return to our office periodically so we can monitor their fusion to the jawbone.

Recovering from Implant Surgery

Immediately following your dental implant procedure, it is normal to notice some degree of discomfort, bleeding, and swelling. These side effects can be managed with over-the-counter medications. Intermittent application of a cold compress can also be useful for reducing inflammation during the first 24 hours. For the first 48 to 72 hours, we recommend abstaining from strenuous activity and heavy lifting; an elevated heart rate can result in increased post-operative bleeding, swelling, and discomfort. Patients should also eat a soft food diet for the first few days, then introduce more solid options as comfort levels improve. Swelling and other side effects typically subside within the first few days.

Contact Palmetto Family and Cosmetic Dentistry Today

Drs. Thaddeus Vincent, David Van Patten, William Noonan, Alexander Whittington, and their staff at Palmetto Family Dentistry always go the extra mile to ensure your comfort and satisfaction. In addition to accepting all major credit cards, we also offer CareCredit® financing to help patients afford the treatment they need. We have locations in Guignard and Tahoe to serve you. You can reach out to us online or call our office nearest you.