If you need to replace missing teeth, dental implants provide you with the most effective, long lasting option. No other alternative replaces both your missing tooth and root the way dental implants do. This prevents future bone deterioration and restores the full function associated with a healthy natural tooth. It is important to understand that the dental implant process is very time consuming. It is performed in stages and takes months to complete. In order to be considered a candidate for dental implants, you must be willing to commit to this lengthy process. During the planning phase of your procedure, Dr. Donald Wilcox will use 3D Cone Beam computer imaging technology to create a highly detailed, three-dimensional map of your teeth and jaw. This digital image will help Dr. Wilcox develop a dental implant guide that will ensure your implants are placed according to the highest degree of precision and accuracy. When you visit our Phoenix-area dental office for the first stage of your procedure, Dr. Wilcox will insert the dental implants into your jawbone. Once this has been completed, it will take approximately 3-6 months for your jawbone to heal. During this healing process, called osseointegration, your jawbone grows around and fuses with the implant. This securely anchors the dental implant into your jaw and allows it to function like a natural tooth root. After the osseointegration process is complete, Dr. Wilcox will attach a small titanium post, called an abutment, to your dental implant. The abutment will eventually connect to the dental crown that serves as your new prosthetic tooth. It will take approximately 1-2 weeks for your gums to heal after the abutment is attached. At this point, Dr. Wilcox will take impressions of your mouth that are sent to the lab for use in creating your dental crown. Once the crown has been fabricated, you will return to our office and Dr. Wilcox will place it on the abutment. While this process is time consuming, it is worth the wait. Once your crown is placed, you will be able to enjoy all the benefits of your fully functional 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, Arizona.