If you have missing teeth, dental implant surgery may be a good option for you. Dental implants are artificial tooth roots that are made of titanium, a biocompatible metal. Your dentist inserts them into your jawbone to support a crown, bridge, or denture.
Dental professionals often prefer implants because implant-based restorations look and function like natural teeth. Additionally, they are considered permanent.
Still, dental implant surgery is not as simple as a routine filling. The procedure involves several steps and can take months to complete. Here is a bit of information about implant surgeries to help you understand what to expect.
What Can You Expect Before the Surgery?
Before your surgery, you can expect to undergo a thorough dental exam and consultation with your dentist or oral surgeon. They will evaluate your oral health, bone density, and jaw structure to determine if you are a good candidate for the implants. They will also discuss the risks, benefits, costs, and alternatives of the procedure with you.
To prepare for the consultation, you will need to have your medical history and a list of any medications you are taking on hand.
What Can You Expect During the Surgery?
The surgery itself is usually performed with local anesthesia, which means you will be awake but numb in the area where the implants are placed. Nonetheless, you may also receive sedation or general anesthesia if you prefer or if your case is more complicated.
The surgery can take from one to several hours depending on how many implants you need. If your jawbone is too thin for immediate implant placement, you may have to undergo a bone grafting procedure to thicken the bone before the implant surgery is performed.
During the surgery, your dentist makes an incision in your gums to expose the bone where the implant will be placed. Then, a hole is drilled into the bone, and the implant is inserted. Your dentist leaves the implant in place to fuse with your jawbone over time, and the gum incision is stitched to close the wound.
What Can You Expect After the Implant Surgery?
After your implant surgery, you will need to rest and recover for a few days. You may experience some swelling, bruising, bleeding, or discomfort at the surgical site. Over-the-counter painkillers and ice packs can help ease the symptoms, but if they are insufficient, contact your dentist for prescription options. They may have already prescribed antibiotics to help you avoid infection as your implant wound heals.
Your diet will need to consist of liquids and soft foods temporarily. Additionally, you will need to avoid smoking, drinking alcohol, and brushing the implanted area for a while.
To learn more about dental implant surgery, schedule a consultation with a dentist in your local area.
I grew up in a home with parents who did not insist on good dental hygiene. By the time I was old enough to know better, some damage had already been done. I had many cavities, crooked teeth, and some discoloration on my teeth. I knew it would not be easy to take my smile from where it was to where it is today, but I was determined to finally have nice teeth. I visited a dentist who was very nice and never judged me. We made a dental plan together. Spreading the procedures out over time made it much easier to afford them. I now have almost perfect teeth after all that hard work! I created this blog to help others who have dental problems that stem from bad childhood habits know there is hope! It is never too late to start seeing the dentist!