Are you thinking about dental implants to replace a missing tooth, but want to make sure you have all of the relevant information before you make your decision? The best way to make an informed dental decision is to ask your dentist questions because this is your health, quality of life, and finances we are talking about.
In this blog from Southington Dentistry we’re going over the most important questions you should be asking your dentist regarding dental implants and providing a detailed response. You should be informed about what's going into your body, what that process entails, and what will happen afterward. Read on to learn more.
What is the Dental Implant Procedure & Healing Process Like?
Dental implants are performed in a total of 3 separate appointments. They take place in this sequence:
First Appointment - The dental implant is a super strong titanium “ root replacement “ that is implanted into the jawbone and replaces the natural tooth root. Before receiving this implant you would have had an oral exam to make sure you were a good candidate and to examine your bone health.
After this initial implant is placed, you will heal within 2 weeks. However, osseointegration, in which the implant fuses with the jawbone, will occur within 3-4 months.
Second Appointment - You will return to the dental office for a high tech digital scan of you teeth and the implant site. These Impressions of your teeth will be digitally sent to a dental lab to create a dental crown that looks just like your natural teeth in size, shape, and color.
Third Appointment- 3 weeks after the impression, your new crown and abutment will be ready for placement. An abutment is the “tooth nub” that is attached to your implant. The abutment is screwed or cemented onto the implant and will be what connects your tooth restoration (crown) to the implant.
This appointment does not require any anesthesia and will not be painful. This is a simple appointment that involves fitting the crown into the mouth. After receiving your crown, you’ll have fully functional teeth that do not have cavity or root canal issues.
What Are The Advantages & Disadvantages of Dental Implants?
Dental implants are very advantageous over other tooth restoration options because they are the only tooth replacement that fully preserves the jawbone and prevents further bone loss. Dental bridges and dentures are also higher maintenance and do not fully restore the tooth’s function.
Dental implants on the other hand are cleaned just like normal teeth and act as a natural tooth in appearance and use. They do not shift around, as they are secured in place by being implanted into the jaw. This makes them sturdy and gives you the freedom to eat what you want and speak clearly without having to worry about teeth shifting around.
The biggest disadvantages to dental implants are that the procedure takes a little longer to allow osseointegration to occur. However, there are some same-day dental implants available in limited cases.
Their success still depends on osseointegration occurring successfully and fully healing properly. Another disadvantage over other tooth restoration options is that upfront costs maybe higher.
That being said, the procedure is much more durable and long-lasting as compared to dentures and bridges, which is an advantage. Over your life they are less expensive becaue fewer replacement costs. With proper care, implants can last for a lifetime.
Am I a Good Candidate for Dental Implants?
A good candidate for dental implants is someone who is in good oral health with optimal jawbone density. This means the patient does not have any present tooth decay or gum disease and does not require any other dental work such as fillings, root canals, or other restorative procedures aside from a tooth replacement.
Those with medical conditions such as uncontrolled diabetes should get that under control first. If a patient wants dental implants but does not have the necessary amount of healthy bone volume, bone grafting may have to be performed before receiving implants. Those wishing to get dental implants should also refrain from smoking.
How Do I Care For Dental Implants?
Caring for dental implants once they have fully healed is as easy as brushing your teeth twice a day for at least two minutes and flossing once daily. You should also attend regular dental visits every 6 months for checkups and cleanings.
Bleeding and complications such as dry socket are substantially less because the extraction socket hole is filled in by titanium. Directly after the procedure has been completed, you may experience small amounts of bleeding and swelling, which is normal. Ice packs can be used to reduce the swelling and over-the-counter anti-pain medication can help relieve pain or discomfort if there is any.
Dr. Salesky will give you specific aftercare instructions, but you will need to stick to soft foods at first before you can introduce your normal diet back into your routine. There will be a list of things you need to avoid while healing such as smoking, alcohol, hard or sticky foods, suction, and strenuous activity.
Want to Find Out More About Dental Implants?
If you still have questions about dental implants or are interested in the procedure, contact us at Southington Dentistry. We would be more than happy to answer any of your questions. If you would like to find out if dental implants are right for you, schedule a consultation with Dr. Salesky today.
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