Dental Implant Surgery
Once Dr. Bruce Watkins has approved your dental implant surgery, you will return to our office in Elkhart, IN, for the insertion of the titanium implant posts into your jawbone. After a healing period of three to six months, you will undergo a second procedure to prepare the implants to support your restoration. Some patients may require preliminary procedures such as bone grafting to become eligible for dental implant surgery. As a convenience to our patients, dental implant surgery and restoration placement, as well as any preliminary procedures, are all performed in our office by Dr. Watkins, who is assisted by our skilled staff.
Consultation with Dr. Watkins
Prior to being approved for dental implant surgery, patients have a consultation with Dr. Watkins. He will examine and evaluate your teeth and gums, head, neck, jaw, and overall oral health. We utilize GALILEOS® cone beam computed tomography (CBCT) scanner and digital x-rays to assess your tooth roots and jawbone. Dr. Watkins will review your dental and medical history and discuss your goals for treatment, your lifestyle, and your budget. Insurance plans usually do not cover dental implant surgery, but we offer payment plans that can help you afford the cost of this multi-beneficial treatment.
Dr. Watkins may recommend a preliminary treatment or procedure to treat gum disease or to increase bone density to improve your eligibility for implant surgery. If you are approved for surgery, we will take 3D scans to map out the precise placement for your implants and your permanent restoration.
What to Expect during Dental Implant Surgery
When you come to our office for your dental implant surgery, you will be given an anesthetic at the treatment area, and you can receive sedation if needed. Once you are sedated, Dr. Watkins will create holes in your jawbone where each titanium implant post will be placed, according to the scans taken during your previous visit. The implant posts are then inserted and fixed into the jawbone with an added supplement to stimulate bone growth. Some patients may receive a temporary restoration to maintain both function and appearance during the recovery period.
Once your gums have healed after surgery and the implants are fully integrated with your jawbone, you will return to our office for the placement of your final restoration.
Osseointegration of Dental Implants
Osseointegration is the process of the dental implants fusing to the jawbone. This process can take three to six months. You should care for your implants gently, as you would for your natural teeth. It is important not to smoke during this period. Smoking can decrease the chances of successful osseointegration. You will have periodic follow-up appointments with Dr. Watkins during this time to evaluate your healing progress.
Final Restoration Placement
Once your gums have healed and the implants are fully integrated with your jawbone, you will return to our office for a second minor surgery in which abutments, which serve as the point of connection with your restorations, are attached to the implants. The gums are stitched closed in a way that leaves the abutments exposed above the gum line. Once the gums have healed, you will return for the placement of your final restoration. Some restorations are created in our office through the use of 3D scanners and CEREC® technology. This technology allows us to design and create your restorations much more quickly than if they had to be sent to a lab.
A dental implant restoration may be a crown, dental bridge, or partial or full dentures. Once the restoration is ready, your temporary restoration will be removed and your permanent restoration will be attached to the implants. Most implant-supported restorations are permanent and non-removable, which increases stability and makes caring for your restorations easier.
Schedule Your Consultation
Dental implant surgery provides a stable foundation for restorations such as dentures or bridges. Using the latest technology to increase safety and accuracy, Dr. Watkins has seen a success rate above 90 percent in his dental implant patients. Contact Watkins Family Dentistry today to schedule a consultation with Dr. Watkins.