As an experienced implant dentist, Jerry Hancock, DMD, offers all stages of treatment, including surgical placement of the implant posts. Dr. Hancock strives to ensure patients' dental implant surgery is as comfortable as possible by offering multiple sedation options and using the latest technology. His Nashville, TN, office is outfitted with ultramodern imaging that can capture 360-degree views of your entire mouth. This allows him to create a completely unique surgical plan that will have minimal impact on your jawbone. Furthermore, he and his team will guide you throughout your recovery, making the process quick and virtually stress-free.
What to Expect Before Dental Implant Surgery
Before scheduling your implant surgery, Dr. Hancock will carefully examine your jaw and evaluate your general oral health. You may require some initial treatments in preparation for the procedure. For example, if you have severely damaged teeth, Dr. Hancock may first perform extractions. He could also perform a bone graft or a sinus lift. These treatments will fortify your jawbone and provide more support for the dental implants. Plus, a sinus lift will create additional space below your sinus membranes, so the implant posts will not disturb the delicate tissues or cause sinus damage.
Dr. Hancock uses computer-guided surgical techniques to reduce discomfort and risks during implant surgery. With 360imaging, he can assess the position of existing teeth and dental nerves.
Dr. Hancock uses computer-guided surgical techniques to reduce discomfort and risks during implant surgery. With 360imaging®, he can assess the position of existing teeth and dental nerves. He can also look for bone recession. Then he can determine the optimal positions for your dental implants, placing them in a way that will lessen the impact to your jaw.
The Surgical Process
To place and restore dental implants, Dr. Hancock will typically need to perform two different procedures. Before your initial surgery, he will administer local anesthetic, so you will feel virtually nothing. He understands that you may still feel anxious about your surgery so he offers a variety of sedation options, including oral and IV (intravenous) sedation. These medications can induce a twilight sleep with no need for general anesthesia. You will not be aware of your surgery, and you will have little to no memory of it afterwards.
During implant surgery, one or more small titanium posts are placed directly within the jaw.
Once you are made comfortable, Dr. Hancock will create incisions in your gums. Through these incisions, he will create pilot holes, which will uphold the posts. He will insert between one and six posts, depending on the size of your restoration. Then he will close up the incisions as he carefully positions the soft tissues around the implants. Some patients will also receive a temporary restoration at this time.
Your second surgery will take place four to six months later. During this time, your jawbone will heal, and the implants will integrate with the bone tissue. This process, known as osseointegration, will allow the implants to permanently replace your tooth roots. Once your recovery is complete, Dr. Hancock will perform a second very minor surgery to expose the tops of the implants. Typically, you will only need local anesthetic for this step. After he accesses the posts, your dentist will attach abutment pieces to the tops. Then he can attach your crown, bridge, or denture.
Recovering From Dental Implant Surgery
After the initial surgery, you will experience some discomfort and swelling. Dr. Hancock can prescribe appropriate medications and ice packs can further reduce inflammation. You should also eat a soft diet and be extra cautious when brushing your teeth. Fortunately, most swelling will be gone in a few days, and discomfort should completely dissipate within a week to 10 days. After this time, you will have relatively normal dental function, although your temporary prosthetic may slightly limit your diet. Following your second procedure, you will have a fully restored smile and complete oral function.
Contact Us to Schedule an Appointment with Dr. Hancock
During a visit to our office, we will answer all your questions to make sure you feel confident about your decision to undergo dental implant surgery. Contact our office online or call (615) 383-0132 to book a consultation today.
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