There are 3 million people in the U.S. who have dental implants. That number is expected to keep growing, as over 35 million don’t have any teeth in their mouths. Dental implants involve drilling titanium posts into the jawbone, where it will become a permanent fixture.
Unlike dentures, dental implants will never slip, squeak, or cause damage to your gums. A dental implant specialist can how you fitted for one or all teeth in your mouth. They will just need to test your jawbone and oral health to make sure there are no underlying risks.
If you want to learn if you’re a good candidate for dental implants, follow this quick guide. In it, you will learn what will happen before, during, and after the procedure.
This could allow you to regain the confidence and enjoyment in life that was lost from missing teeth.
Dental Implant Evaluation
When you first see a dental implant specialist, you will be evaluated for your candidacy. Click here to look at dental implant specialists in Dublin. Standard procedure calls for a complete dental exam and an overview of dental history.
They will take x-rays and fit a molding to your teeth, once you’re cleared for dental implants. The dentist will also go over a personalized treatment plan to account for the work being done on your jawbone. This includes the surgeon, a periodontist, and your primary dentist to sculpt and monitor implant progress.
The surgeon must take into account any underlying medical conditions, such as high blood pressure or any heart conditions. You will need to pass a stress test to ensure that your heart is capable of handling the surgery and anesthesia. The implanting process usually calls for general anesthesia, but local anesthesia is also an option.
All of this will depend on your preference and any preexisting health concerns.
Common Side-effects and Risks
Most side-effects and risks involved with dental implant surgery are rare and don’t pose any serious risks. Inflammation is normal and will subside after a few days. There can also be a risk of infection if proper oral care isn’t practiced after surgery.
There is a small risk of serious injury or damage to surrounding teeth and blood vessels. Nerve damage is possible, which can create numbness, pain, and a stinging sensation along the side the head where damage has occurred. Lastly, an implant that punches through the sinus cavities can create chronic sinus issues.
The Dental Implant Process
Dental surgery begins with the removal of all teeth that are being replaced. This process can be done on a separate day, but it is commonly done the same day as the temporary implants. The jawbone is then grafted and prepped for the placing of the metal posts.
Once the metal posts are inserted, temporary implants are placed on and the patient will check in periodically throughout a 4-6 month period. Once the bone has fully healed, it’s time for the permanent implants to be applied. The dentist will then have you take a new mold of your mouth and the abutment is placed.
The abutment is a minor surgical procedure that creates a placeholder for the final implant crowns are placed. This abutment is sometimes done with the installation of the metal posts. Doing them separately could be considered an unnecessary extra procedure if you’re a good candidate for combining them instead.
It’s the most ideal scenario, as it cuts out an extra surgical visit, but not all patients want to walk around with them in their mouth.
Types of Dental Implant Teeth
When it comes time to attach your final implant teeth, you will need to make a decision on how you want them to look and function. You’ll have plenty of time to consider your choices as you wait for your gums to heal. You can choose between two different types of artificial teeth:
Put simply, this is an implant that cannot be changed or removed for cleaning. They get screwed onto the abutment or affixed with dental cement. This is the most affordable option for dental implants.
These dental implants are basically high-end dentures. You wear them like dentures and you can take them out and clean them like dentures. The only difference is that they are affixed to a strong metal frame that fits onto the abutment.
These may not be the most realistic dental implants, but they do reduce the amount of maintenance and oral hygiene issues that come with implants.
Commitment to Implants
The dental implant procedure is very safe and 98% successful for all patients. The biggest obstacles will be dealing with some minor pain and discomfort from the surgery. You’ll be unable to eat hard foods for a better part of a year.
There will also be some embarrassment for some people who have to go without proper teeth during the healing process. The procedure itself can also be very expensive without good medical insurance. Make sure you have good support from doctors and family during this process.
Find a Dental Implant Specialist
Now that you understand what you can expect during the entire dental implant process, it’s time to find a dental implant specialist you can trust. Start by asking your primary dentist, family, and friends who they would recommend. Try to find someone who is located nearby, so that the trip home after being in surgery is short.
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