Dental implants are the most effective way to replace a missing tooth, but it is important to understand what the process entails before committing to the procedure. There are several stages to the dental implant process, and it will take about six months to complete the procedure. During the planning phase of your procedure, Dr. Donald Wilcox will use 3D Cone Beam computer imaging technology to create a digital map of your teeth and jaw. This 3D map will be used to determine the best location for your dental implant and ensure it is placed with the highest degree of precision. The first stage of your procedure involves placing the dental implant. Once Dr. Wilcox has inserted it into your jaw, it will take several months for your jawbone to heal. During this healing period, called osseointegration, your jawbone grows around and fuses with the dental implant, allowing it to function like a natural tooth root. Once osseointegration is complete, you will return to our Glendale office and Dr. Wilcox will place a small titanium rod, called an abutment, on the dental implant. The abutment will eventually connect to the dental crown that will serve as your new prosthetic tooth. Dr. Wilcox will take an impression of your tooth which will be sent to the lab and used in creating your dental crown. Once your crown has been constructed, Dr. Wilcox will attach it to the abutment. At this point, you will be able to enjoy the benefits of a fully functional, beautiful looking replacement tooth. To learn more about the dental implant process, please contact Desert Smiles today to schedule your free consultation. We serve patients in Phoenix, Scottsdale, and Glendale, Arizona.