You are not happy with the way your teeth and your smile look. You may have a missing tooth or may have lost several teeth in an accident or from periodontal disease. What you know is that you do not look your absolute best. So, you begin to look for alternatives. One of those alternatives is dental implants. Your interest has been piqued and you are now interested in learning about the various stages of the dental implant stages.
Step One: You should consult with a restorative dentist like Dr. Shawn Hofkes, DDS.
Meeting with a restorative dentist is the first step to replacing your lost teeth. Ask his or her opinion of your chances of success with dental implants. Be prepared to share not only your medical history, but also what prescriptions you are taking.
Step Two: A thorough full-mouth examination will be conducted.
Your dentist will need to closely examine your teeth and your gums. Your occlusion, or “bite,” will need to be evaluated. X-rays or a cat scan may be necessary.
Step Three: A decision will need to be made.
A decision on whether or not to proceed at this point will need to be made by you and your dentist after evaluating your personal risk factors, the costs, and your desire for a better smile.
Step Four: The implant will be placed into your jawbone.
The dentist surgically places the implant into your jawbone below your gum line. This is what replaces your tooth roots.
Step Five: Your jawbone heals.
After you’ve healed, which typically takes between 4-6 months, the dentist will confirm that “osseointegration” has occurred, meaning that the implant has combined with your jawbone successfully.
Step Six: The abutments are secured.
The dentist will then attach abutments to the implants, which rise above the gum line to anchor your crown or bridge in place.
Step Seven: The crown or dental bridge will be attached.
After examination to verify the successful integration of the implant posts, your dentist will then secure the new crowns or dental bridges to the abutments.
About Dr. Shawn Hofkes, DDS in Cerritos
If you’d like to schedule an appointment with Shawn Hofkes, DDS, contact us today at 562-584-4082. We proudly serve patients of all ages from Cerritos, Lakewood, Long Beach, Buena Park, and all surrounding communities.