Dental Implants: Understanding the Process
Dental implants are a popular and permanent way to replace missing teeth. If you’re considering getting dental implants, it’s important to understand the process and what’s involved. This post will provide an overview of the dental implant process and what to expect afterwards!
What Are Dental Implants?
A dental implant is a titanium post that is surgically placed into your jawbone to act as a replacement for your natural tooth root. Once the implant has fused with your jawbone, a dental crown is placed on top of the implant to give you a natural-looking and feeling tooth.
Types of Dental Implants
There are two types of dental Implants: Endosteal and Subperiosteal
- Endosteal Implants: These are the most common type of dental implant and are placed directly into your jawbone. Endosteal implants are typically used for patients who are missing one or more teeth.
- Subperiosteal Implants: Subperiosteal implants are placed under the gum but on top of the jawbone. This type of implant is typically used for patients who are missing all of their teeth and cannot wear dentures.
In both cases, the implant will be covered by a porcelain crown that looks and feels like a natural tooth.
Why You May Need Dental Implants
There are many reasons why you may need dental implants. Maybe
- You have lost a tooth or several teeth due to injury, decay, or disease
- You want to improve the aesthetic of your smile
- You want to avoid wearing dentures
- You want a more permanent solution than bridges
Regardless of the reason, dental implants can give you back your smile!
How To Prepare for A Dental Implant Surgery
Before your implant surgery, your dentist will thoroughly examine your mouth and take X-rays to determine if you are a good candidate for implants. If you are determined to be a good candidate, the next step is to schedule your surgery!
Your dentist will go over the surgery details with you and answer any questions you may have. It’s important that you are comfortable with the surgery and have a clear understanding of what to expect.
You will be given specific instructions on how to prepare for your surgery, which may include:
- Quitting smoking
- Taking antibiotics
- Avoiding eating or drinking anything after midnight the night before your surgery
Procedure For a Dental Implant Surgery
Dental implant surgery is typically performed as an outpatient procedure, which means you will be able to go home the same day. The surgery itself usually takes less than an hour.
First, you will be given local anesthesia to numb the treatment area. You may also be given sedation to help you relax. Once you are comfortable, the surgeon will make an incision in your gum to expose the bone.
Next, the titanium implant will be placed into the bone, and the incision will be closed with stitches. A healing abutment may also be placed on top of the implant at this time. The healing abutment helps to protect the implant as it heals.
During the healing period, your jawbone will grow around the dental implant and fuse with it. This process, called osseointegration, can take several weeks.
What To Expect After Dental Implant Surgery
After your surgery, you can expect some swelling and discomfort in the treatment area. This is normal and will subside within a few days. You will be given pain medication to help with any discomfort while the implant fuses with the bone. It’s important that you avoid chewing on the implant site for at least a week after surgery.
Once the implant has fused, you will return to the dentist to have your permanent dental crown placed on top of the implant. Once the permanent crown is placed, you can treat the implant just like your natural teeth!
Caring For Your Dental Implants
Once your implants are healed, it’s important to take care of them just like you would your natural teeth. This means brushing and flossing daily and attending regular dental check-ups. With proper care, your implants can last a lifetime!
Benefits of Dental Implants
Dental implants offer many benefits over other tooth replacement options. Some of their benefits include:
- Permanent: Dental implants are a permanent solution for missing teeth. They are securely placed into your jawbone and can last a lifetime with proper care!
- Natural looking and feeling: Dental implants look and feel just like your natural teeth. No one will be able to tell that you have implants!
- Improved oral health: Dental implants do not require reducing other teeth, as is necessary with bridges. This helps to improve your oral health.
- Enhanced self-esteem: Dental implants can give you back your smile and help you feel good about yourself again!
- Convenient: You can eat, brush, and floss normally with dental implants. There is no special care required!
If you are missing one or more teeth and are looking for a permanent solution, dental implants may be right for you! Schedule a consultation with your dentist to see if implants are the right choice for you.