What goes through your mind when your dentist recommends dental implants as the ultimate solution for your failing teeth, missing teeth, or even diminishing smile? Perhaps you are experiencing a little apprehension imaging how it feels to undergo the procedure and how long will it take to recover. If you have done a little research, you know very well that getting dental implants is not a one-time surgery! All these thoughts may culminate in endless worries but, if you know what to expect, it becomes easier to go through the entire process. So, let us shed some light on this subject and make your dental transformation a positive experience!
What are dental implants?
Do you even know what the term “dental implant” means? Well, this is just one of the options for replacing missing teeth. As the name suggests, your jawbone is fitted with an implant, often made of titanium. A minor surgical procedure is conducted by a dentist or oral surgeon to place the implants in the jawbone.
Preparing for dental implants
As mentioned previously, this procedure involves a minor dental surgery, and patients will need to undergo a thorough dental evaluation. In most cases, evaluations include dental examination supported by X-rays images and treatment plans. The doctor then proceeds to provide you with comprehensive pre-surgery steps and instructions to be followed. It is always advisable that you maintain outstanding oral care before the surgical procedure to ensure your gums are ready to accept and withstand implants.
Surgery and implanting day
Do you know what happens during the time of surgery and tooth implanting? There are a few things of which you need to be aware. First, you are probably wondering if the procedure is painful or not! The truth of the matter is that, just like any other surgical procedure, this one also comes with some level of discomfort. The good news is that dentists use sedative or anesthesia to ensure that you do not feel significant amounts of pain during the procedure.
Secondly, once your doctor is satisfied that you do not feel any pain, he will remove the damaged teeth and prepare the jawbone for the surgery. The jawbone is given some time to heal before placing the metal post for the implant and finally the actual implant. Depending on the number of teeth you are replacing, the procedure can take several weeks to months to complete. In the end, your jawbone and the implant should have fused successfully.
Risks of dental implants
Since this procedure involves surgery, there are some possible health risks, but they are usually minor and treated easily. Although they are minimal or rare, some risks such as infection around the implant site, damage or injury to the surrounding structure, sinus problems, and nerve damage can occur in some patients.
What you should do after the dental implants
Of course, you will experience some degree of post-surgery discomfort, such as swelling gums and soft tissues, minor bruising, and slight bleeding. Your surgeon will recommend the right medication to relieve pain and any other discomfort. Nonetheless, if the pain persists, always contact your dentist as soon as possible. Your dentist will provide an aftercare guide for you to follow. The instructions in this guide are designed to ensure patient recovery is as painless as possible.
Just like any other dental restoration procedure, patients should take good care of their new teeth. You should avoid eating hard/crunchy foods. You should also continue brushing and flossing your teeth on a daily basis. It is even advisable to use an antibacterial mouth rinse. Even if you are not experiencing any discomfort after the procedure, don’t forget to see your dentist regularly. During these regular checkups, your dentist will examine the gums and jawbone to ensure the implants are functioning properly.