Having teeth replaced and then consequently implanted can be a very daunting procedure. If you are in the dark about what will happen and you have no idea what to expect, it can be even scarier.
Dental implants are a solution to replacing missing teeth and the operation is performed countless times every year. It is a simple and straight forward procedure, meaning you or a loved one will have nothing to worry about.
However, once you know the exact specifics of what is going to happen to you and your teeth in that dental chair, you can rest peacefully, understanding that everything will be fine. This article will explain everything you need to know in detail, in a way that is both reassuring and informational.
What are dental implants?
Dental implants are usually made of titanium. They have a screw built inside, otherwise known as an abutment. These abutments serve to hold the false tooth (or alternatively teeth) in place.
After implantation, the surrounding bone will grow around it and eventually meld itself to the attachments, in turn ensuring that it is secure and firmly in place. This will provide a more natural look.
There is no need to worry about multiple attachments per tooth as one single implant is capable of supporting multiple teeth at once. Naturally, however, the number of implants required will depend on the word of your dentist, informed by your own unique circumstances.
The entire process can take over two months in length and unfortunately does require more than one surgical operation. If looked after correctly however, they will typically last as long as your natural teeth.
What happens during the operation?
The implantation procedure is not as scary as it may sound. You will be put to sleep under local anesthetic, so there is no need to worry about pain during the operation either. Afterwards, there may be some slight aches around the jaw with a chance of swelling but pain medication will clear that away.
It will take another two to six months of a waiting period before the artificial crown is surgically placed on top of the implant. This allows time for the bone and implant fixture are growing together – otherwise known as osseointegration. But not to worry, the dentist will usually fix a temporary crown while you wait for a permanent one.
How do I take care of my implant?
After such an expensive and complicated procedure, you will want to make sure your implants last for the rest of your life. To make sure that this actually happens, make sure to visit your dentist regularly after your surgery.
Naturally, you will also have to make sure that you brush and floss after every meal. You have to keep the gum tissue around your implant healthy.
What are the advantages?
There are many benefits to having your teeth replaced with dental implants.
- They are an ideal solution to missing teeth that need replacement, which will allow you to regain full function of your mouth, including the ability to chew and talk.
- They do not slip or shift after implantation, which guarantees you stability and security, so your implants look as natural as possible.
- Unlike dentures, implants do not need to be taken out at night and cleaned, as they are cleaned manually within the mouth, like natural teeth.
- The shape and general contour of your face are preserved as the implants prevent any shifting of nearby teeth. This also preserves the jawbone.
- No tooth structure is lost as implants do not depend on neighboring teeth for support.