Understanding Dental Implant Procedures: What You Need to Know
If you have a missing tooth, getting a dental implant may be the perfect solution. Whether you’ve already decided to undergo the procedure or are just exploring your options, you may have a lot of questions about dental implants. Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about getting dental implant surgery.
What Are Dental Implants?
A dental implant is a fake tooth that is surgically inserted into the gums to replace a missing tooth. The implant is usually made out of titanium and must be placed by an oral surgeon. It is a screw-like piece that is inserted into the jawbone and closely resembles the root of a tooth. The dentist will later attach a crown to the implant so it resembles your other natural teeth.
How Long Will the Procedure Take?
The length of the procedure depends on your dental health, how many teeth are involved in the procedure, which teeth are being replaced, and if a tooth needs to be extracted first. For a single tooth, the implant surgery can take around one to two hours, from applying the anesthesia to the end of the procedure. Talk to your dentist for a better estimate of how long the procedure will take.
Before the surgery, your dentist may give you a list of pre-operative instructions, which you should follow closely. The full procedure needs to be completed in two phases, with the whole process taking between six and nine months.
It is during the first phase that the dentist will surgically place the implant in your mouth. Your mouth will be numbed using local anesthesia, so you will not be able to feel a thing. The dentist will then use a drill to create a hole in the bone for the implant. The implant will be inserted into the space and the gums will be closed over the implant.
Over the following months, the implant will become securely attached to the bone. During the second phase, the implant is re-exposed using a small incision. Then, the dentist will make impressions of your mouth in order to craft the new implant crown. Once the crown is made, the dentist will place it in your mouth and, voila, the procedure is finished.
Post-Surgery Discomfort, Complications, and Care
It is completely normal to experience some discomfort following your dental implant surgery. You may experience some light bruising and swelling in the gums and soft tissues. Discomfort is typically treated with an ordinary painkiller like ibuprofen or codeine. There are some complications that you should be watchful for. Potential complications include:
- Bone loss around the implant
- Infection of the surrounding gums and bone
- The implant failing to adhere to the bone
- Your body rejecting the implant
Following the procedure, your new tooth must be cared for and checked often, just like your other teeth. Follow your dentist’s post-surgery suggestions. Continue to brush and floss every day and visit your dentist for a checkup every six months, or more often if your dentist recommends it.
For more information about dental implants or to schedule an appointment, contact us at Now Dental. Now Dental is you full service dentist in Carmichael, CA, ready to help you before you need implants and we are there for you if you do!