What To Expect When Getting Dental Implants
Dental implants are small posts typically made out of titanium that serve as a substitute for the root of the tooth. These implants have a connector, known as an abutment, placed on or built onto the implant. The tooth is custom fabricated to match your natural teeth, completing the dental implant.
If you are going through this process, you may be anxiously trying to figure out what you should expect. The process of getting a dental implant usually involves the following steps:
- Initial Consultation
Before you even start the process of getting a dental implant, you have to have a consolation. Your implant dentist will thoroughly examine your mouth, take X-rays or 3D images, discuss the various implant options, and then develop a plan for your implant surgery. If you have any questions about the implants, this is where you would ask. Don’t assume that it is a silly question, and ask your dentist anything that comes to mind about your implants.
- Dental Implant Placement
At your next scheduled appointment, your implant dentist will place the implant in your jawbone where your tooth is missing. Each patient’s experience is going to be unique to them, but for many people, they find they experience less plan and discomfort than they expect and can return to work the next day. Local anesthesia or IV sedation can be used to keep you comfortable, depending on the procedure and your health. Some common discomforts are swelling, bruising, minor bleeding, and pain. Most pain can be managed with over-the-counter medications.
As you heal, your implant and jawbone will grow together in a process called osseointegration. This will form a strong, long-lasting foundation for your replacement tooth. During this healing process, which can take a few months, you go about your normal everyday life. For the first few weeks, you will be on a soft food diet to ensure your implant(s) heal properly. In some cases, your implant dentist may be able to place a temporary tooth during this time.
- Abutment Placement
Once your implant bonds with your jawbone, a connector called an abutment is placed on the dental implant just above the gum line. This may involve removing some of the gum around the implant. In some cases, this connector can be placed at the same time as the implant. Check with your dentist to know if you can have this happen.
- Attaching New Teeth
After your gums heal, your implant dentist will make impressions of your mouth and remaining teeth to custom-make your artificial teeth. These teeth, which can be a crown, a bridge, or dentures containing multiple teeth, will be attached to the abutment. While these new teeth won’t decay, you will need to give them the same routine care, checkups, and cleanings as your natural teeth to ensure they are not broken or cracked.
After your new teeth are attached, it is now time to enjoy your new smile.