Generally, our natural teeth last a lifetime. Unfortunately, it doesn’t always happen that way.
You can lose your teeth due to severe decay, gum disease, and dental trauma. Unfortunately, losing teeth comes with numerous problems.
For instance, you can experience facial sagging, bite problems, jawbone deterioration, and crookedness due to shifting of the adjacent teeth.
To prevent these problems and restore your bite function and smile, it’s essential to replace lost teeth as soon as possible.
A dental implant is the closest you can get to a natural tooth. Since a dental implant requires surgery, most people experience significant anxiety and fear towards the procedure.
Most are concerned about the pain associated with the treatment. Let’s learn about dental implants and what to expect from the treatment.
Dental implant surgery is an outpatient procedure. The procedure involves several stages and appointments.
Based on your needs, the procedure can take six months to 1 year. Below is a step-by-step guide on what to expect:
● Tooth extraction
If the damaged tooth isn’t yet extracted, the dentist will remove it to prepare for the implant. Based on your gums and bone health, you can qualify for immediate dental implants – the implant is placed on the same appointment the tooth is extracted.
In most cases, the dentist recommends allowing the extraction area to heal before placing the dental implant. It can take several weeks or months.
● Bone Grafting
After losing teeth, the underlying jawbone tends to weaken or deteriorate due to a lack of chewing stimulation. The jawbone can also weaken due to severe gum disease. Placing a dental implant on a weakened bone increases the risk of implant failure.
To qualify for dental implant surgery, your dentist can recommend bone grafting to repair and rebuild your jawbone. It provides sufficient base or support for the dental implant.
You can obtain the graft material from your body, a human donor, animal bone, or synthetic materials. You might need about 3 – 6 months to heal before an implant is placed.
● Placing the dental implants
If your tooth is already extracted and you have a healthy jawbone and gums, you don’t need the first two procedures. The dentist will go ahead and place the implant.
During the surgery, you’ll be numbed to prevent pain and anxiety throughout the procedure. Next, the dentist will drill through the jawbone to place the implant.
Once the implant is placed, you’ll need a few months for the jawbone to heal around the implant. This process is known as osseointegration. It provides a solid base for your new tooth.
● Placing the abutment
Once the implant has fused with the jawbone, you’ll need a new surgery to place the abutment tooth. The surgeon cuts through the gums and places an abutment to the dental implant.
The gums are stitched back around the abutment. You’ll need about two weeks to heal before a crown is placed. In some cases, the abutment is attached to the implant during the initial procedure after the post is implanted.
● Placing a Dental Crown
Once the gums have healed around the abutment, the dentist will use the impression of your mouth and teeth to make a dental crown. The custom-made crown acts like artificial teeth.
Generally, a dental implant is a worthwhile procedure. However, like any other surgery, implant surgery comes with downsides, including:
● Pain. During all the procedures, you’ll be numbed to keep you pain-free and comfortable. However, you will likely experience some pain and other symptoms when the anesthesia wears off after a while.
Fortunately, the dentist or surgeon will prescribe some medication to manage pain and inflammation. These symptoms will wear off after some days.
● Infection. Poor oral hygiene and slow healing due to underlying conditions like diabetes can increase the risk of infections at the implant site. Your dentist will likely prescribe antibiotics to reduce the risk of infections.
● Damage to the nearby teeth, gums, nerves, and blood vessels.
● Sinus problems. It happens when an implant is placed on the upper jaw.
● Fever usually signifies an infection.
Contact your dentist or visit an emergency clinic immediately if you experience severe symptoms like pain, bleeding, swelling, and fever.
For the best dental implants near you, contact Neeshat S. Khan, DDS, to begin your treatment today.