Dental implants are one of the most effective ways to replace missing teeth. They are an excellent option for people who have lost one or more teeth due to injury, disease, or other causes. With so many benefits, it’s no surprise that dental implants have become a popular choice for patients who want to improve how they feel and look. This article will help you understand ‘how does a dental implant work?’, how it gets installed, what are the benefits and post-operative measures you need to keep in mind.
Let’s dive in!
What is a dental implant?
A dental implant is like a substitute tooth root, typically made from titanium (which is biocompatible) and is precisely fitted into the jawbone to support artificial teeth.
Dental implants integrate pretty well within the human bone and can replace one tooth or a complete arch of missing teeth.
How does the implantation process work, from start to finish?
Even in a same-day implant surgery procedure, the first step in the dental implant process is developing an individualized treatment plan that addresses your specific needs. It is prepared by a team of specially trained and experienced professionals in oral surgery and replacement teeth procedures.
To replace the root portion of your missing tooth, your dentist will take an impression or X-ray of how your jawbone and surrounding area looks initially. This will help them create a custom-made abutment (bar) and a dental crown (artificial tooth).
Once these are made, you will have a follow-up appointment to ensure the implant shape and size are correct.
What happens after sedation?
Once you are sedated, your dentist will make a small incision in the gum tissue near the area where the implant will be placed. They then drill into your jawbone to prepare it for receiving the dental implant post.
After this, they will secure the dental implant to your jawbone with screws which eventually creates a strong foundation for replacement teeth. The gum will then be stitched up, and you’ll go home to rest!
How long will it take?
This process usually takes less than an hour, but how long it takes can vary depending on how many implants you need and how complex the surgery is. You might also require more than one surgery (bone grafting) if your dentist needs more bone to hold the implant in place.
The body might have lost the bone that supported the tooth if it had been missing for some time. However, it’s possible to rebuild a lost bone structure using bone grafting methods like ridge augmentation or sinus grafting.
Wondering what you can expect from an implant surgery? Watch this video!
Is the dental implant procedure painful?
The process itself does not hurt since you are under local anesthesia. Besides, the dentist might also give you prescription painkillers for extra comfort. You may experience some discomfort when the anesthesia wears off, but this should subside in a day or two.
What kind of post-operative care is required after getting dental implants installed?
Dental implants require the same care as natural teeth, including brushing, flossing, rinsing with an antibacterial mouthwash, and regular dental check-ups.
After you’ve had the procedure done, you will need to take it easy for a few days to give your jawbone time to heal before returning to work or school.
Avoid smoking and drinking too much alcohol for at least two months until your dentist says it is okay, as these practices can prolong recovery by slowing down the bone healing process.
It’s important to mention that any lapse in routine dental care can bring forth tooth implant complications and can even put a risk on your new teeth.
Are there any risks or potential complications associated with dental implants, and how can they be avoided or minimized?
Tooth implant surgery is a safe and predictable procedure with minimal risks, but certain common complications can arise. These include:
- Infection at the implant site
- Sinus problems
- Poor healing
- Discomfort or natural tooth pain following surgery
- Loose teeth, crowns, or other pieces due to the lack of stability from the implants
- Damage to the underlying nerves or surrounding tissues
If you’re diabetic or a smoker, you may be at an increased risk for complications during surgery. You can help reduce the risk of developing an infection by taking good care of your oral hygiene immediately before and after surgery.
Most importantly, if you experience bleeding, pain, swelling, bruising, or other symptoms after surgery, contact your dentist right away to determine if something is wrong.
You should also call your dentist if there is persistent redness or infection in the gums or if you experience symptoms such as fever, chills, muscle aches, weakness, and fatigue.
How do you know if dental implants are right for you?
A tooth implant may be a good option for you if:
– You’ve had problems with other tooth replacement options, such as loose dentures or crowns that don’t fit properly
– Your jawbone has deteriorated and needs support to hold an implant in place
– You currently wear a removable denture and would like a more stable tooth replacement option
How do dental implants work for restorative reasons?
Tooth implants are often used for restorative reasons, which is how they work right away. When you get a brand new set of teeth installed through dental implants, it will be possible to speak clearly and eat whatever you want without the worry of having loose dentures or gagging at the sight of food. The initial surgery can be expensive, but its great benefits will be worth the cost.
Tooth implants are the closest thing to your natural teeth and have several benefits over other tooth replacement options, including:
- Durability and stability
- A fixed replacement that does not shift or slip out of place
- Comfortability with no restrictions on how you eat, talk, and smile
- Restoration of facial aesthetics and contours
Some people have claimed that removable dentures are a source of frustration and discomfort. The bone and gum support for the denture degrades with time, altering the way it fits in your mouth.
Dental implants, unlike dentures, do not require the use of adhesives to keep them in place.
Can I get a dental implant if I have had problems with my teeth in the past?
You can get a tooth implant even if you have had problems with your teeth in the past, but how successful it will be would depend on how extensive the damage was. If only a few teeth are damaged out of how many you have left, getting some or all of them replaced with implants may work.
How to choose a dentist for dental implants?
Choosing a dentist to perform your dental implants is important as the area where the implant will be placed must be done perfectly, which can only happen if you trust how well your dentist works.
To choose how well the dentist works on the implant area, you must first check how qualified and experienced they are. This can be done by checking how many implants they have installed and how long they’ve been doing it.
If you feel comfortable during the initial consultation and how well your dentist interacts with you and answers your questions with patience, then you may be on the right track to getting your dental implants done well.
As you can see, dental implants are a great way to replace missing or lost teeth and improve your oral health. A tooth implant would be worth considering if you are looking for tooth restoration that works just like your natural teeth. It lets you chew anything you like without any hassle and keeps the rest of your teeth in place.
You should also know that it is possible to get an implant at just about any age! Let us know if there’s anything else we can help you with!
Dental Implants: The Procedure and How They Work
Dental implant Procedure