Dentures give many people who suffer tooth loss increased confidence in their appearance while also improving their oral health and ability to function each day. However, there is a transition period required as the patient learns to live with dentures, and certain techniques can help make this adjustment go as effortlessly as possible. By following a…
What to Expect During Dental Implant Surgery
Dental implant surgery has become a popular alternative for people who want to replace their missing teeth because implants are very similar to natural teeth. The titanium posts that are fused to the jaw act as tooth roots and stimulate bone growth in the jaw, restoring functionality to the teeth while preserving the patient’s facial structure.
Everything to know before dental implant surgery
Dental implant surgery requires the cutting of the jawbone so titanium posts can be fused to the jaw and the replacement tooth screwed to it. The process requires multiple trips to the dentist, but it is worth it when it has been completed. For patients who plan to undergo dental implant surgery or just want to find out more about the procedure, this guide will provide an idea of what to expect.
Before the procedure
Before placing dental implant posts, the dentist has to make sure the patient is an ideal candidate for the procedure, which means the dentist will examine the patient’s gums to make sure they do not have periodontal disease.
The procedure is not recommended
Not all people are good candidates for dental implant surgery. Examples include:
- People with diabetes
- People with autoimmune diseases
- People who have undergone radiation treatments for the head and neck
If the dentist determines the patient is a good candidate for the procedure, they will schedule an appointment to get started on the dental implant surgery.
Placing dental implants
The dental implant procedure usually involves two visits to the dentist, but some implants only require one visit. During the first visit, the patient will be given pain medication or antibiotics before the procedure begins. If the patient is nervous about the procedure, the oral surgeon can give them a sedative to keep them relaxed during the procedure. To place the implant in the gums, the oral surgeon will cut into the patient’s gums to expose the jawbone, then drill a hole in the bone so the implant can be inserted. The surgeon will then take an X-ray of the bone to make sure the implant is in the right place before stitching the gums closed.
If the patient is getting one implant, the procedure can take up to an hour. If they need a bone graft or are getting more than one implant, the procedure will take longer. After the procedure, the patient will feel some pain. However, the pain is usually mild and the dentist will prescribe some medication to help manage it. The patient will also have to go back in seven to 10 days to get the stitches in their gums removed. When the stitches are removed, the patient will have to wait three to five months for the gums to heal before proceeding to the next step.
During the second visit, the surgeon will give the patient local anesthesia again and make another cut in the gums. This time around, the cut is made to expose the implant so the surgeon can remove the protective screw on the implant and replace it with a healing cap made from metal. The cap will sit above the gums where the artificial teeth will be, allowing the gums to heal around the implant.
Putting in the artificial tooth
After the second surgery, the patient has to go back to the dentist in two to three weeks to get the crown or denture made. The dentist will make an impression of their teeth and send it to a laboratory to have it made. Once it is ready, the patient will go back once again to get the crown fitted on the implant.
Dental implant surgery is a lengthy process that requires cutting into your gums to insert titanium posts, which hold the artificial teeth in place. If you are interested in getting dental implants, talk to your dentist about the procedure and what to expect.
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