To get dental implants, you must first be a person who is in good health generally. You need excellent bone health in the jaw, or have the option of receiving a bone graft. Diabetics, people with heart disease, smokers, and people with poor oral health in general may not be candidates.
This is a three step process. First, you’ll need to visit your dentist, who will conduct a full series on imaging processes, which may include x-rays and CT scans. There will also be a thorough physical check. Then, a detailed plan will be drawn up on what result will be best for you. Rather than a single implant per tooth, a full arch rehabilitation can use four implants to attach the teeth (where the name all-on-4 originated from). This may not be suitable for everyone, and sometimes the jaw may need more implants.
Then, the second step is the surgery itself. Other teeth are extracted, bone grafts or sinus lifts may be required too. Then, holes are drilled into the jaw, and the four implants are inserted. To provide extra strength, the angle of the holes drilled matter, and often the implants are tilted for stability.
Once the holes are drilled and the implants in, then a period of time is required to let the jawbone heal. This is incredibly important for the process, as the implants need to ‘osseointegrate’ with the jaw. This means that the bone and titanium implant fuse. This is the reason implants are so strong, and a jaw of teeth can be anchored on four implants.
Teeth can be loaded onto the implants straight away, but this puts extra pressure on the implants, which can lead to failure if you have an ill-fitting temporary bridge. Studies have shown that immediate loading can be cautiously recommended, but that may come with more care instructions.
Once implants have healed and fully integrated, a final trip to your dentist is required for the final bridge to be fitted. It will be screwed in, adjusted if required for perfect passive fit and then you are ready to face the world with a beautiful smile.