Surgically fitting implants may seem to be a highly complex task. However, if carried out by an experienced professional, it is a relatively rapid operation which gives good results in the vast majority of cases.
Fitting an implant
This is done under local anaesthetic. An incision is made in the gum, turning it back to enable access to the part of the bone to which the implant is to be fitted. Several drills of different diameters are then used to prepare the housing into which the implant will be placed.
Surgical closure of the wound
Once the implant or implants have been fitted, the wound at the place of surgery must be carefully closed to ensure that the implant will become an integral part of the jawbone or upper maxilla.
It can be closed in two ways:
Option 1: by completely covering the implants (i.e. by burying them)
The gum is returned to its initial position and stitched in place. This means that the implants are completely covered by the gum and that they are therefore well protected. In the event of choosing this option, the gum will have to be reopened two or three months later to remove the flat screw covering the implant and insert a visible metal plug or healing abutment. This second operation is fast and almost painless.
A month later, the impressions will be taken to make the final dental prosthesis.
Option 2: uncovered implants.
The gum is stitched in such a way as to leave the head of the implant with its metal plug or healing abutment visible. The gum heals directly around the implant. This technique means that no second operation is needed to insert the healing abutment. However, it also means that the implant is less well protected while it adheres to the bone. This option is reserved for the most favourable cases.
Whatever the method used, rigorous hygiene of the mouth and teeth is essential.
- To ensure that the healing process proceeds in the best possible conditions, make sure to follow your dentist’s instructions and post-operatory advice.
- The speed and quality of the healing process largely depends on how clean the patient keeps the area where the operation was carried out.
- Rigorous buccal hygiene is essential if the implant is to become an integral part of the jawbone or upper maxilla.
- Very occasionally, an implant is rejected by the bone. In cases such as these a new implant is fitted, either immediately or at a later date.