Dental implants are among the most popular missing teeth replacement options available in general dentistry. They are the only oral prosthetics that replace missing teeth and their roots, which means they preserve bone tissues in the jaw. Bone tissue loss typically takes place when teeth fall out due to the bone tissues not getting the…
FAQs About the Process for Dental Implants
Dental implants restore missing teeth in a way that feels natural and does not interfere with eating or speaking, but the thought of dental implant surgery may at first seem a bit daunting. Knowing what to expect can ease your mind and help you prepare to go through the surgery with minimal stress. Here are a few frequently asked questions and answers to consider. This way, you will know what to expect and may not be as nervous about your procedure.
How long does it take to get dental implants?
Something to be aware of from the start is that getting dental implants is a multistep process. You will likely need several appointments over the course of a few months to get to the point of a fully-functional tooth replacement. Thankfully, this does not mean you will need to spend hours at the dentist's office for every visit, as some appointments will be short and routine.
Appointments to expect
The first step to getting dental implants is to go through a consultation process. This will involve a preliminary exam of your teeth and possibly the removal of any damaged teeth to ensure that you are ready for implants. Depending on how long the tooth or teeth have been missing, you may need a bone graft to prepare your jaw to heal properly around the implant.
Once the surrounding teeth and jaw have been determined to be in good condition, surgery can take place to position the post that will support the implant. You will then need to wait for the bone to heal around this crucial supporting element before the final appointments can take place to position the false tooth.
The Length of the Implant Process
The entire process can take weeks or months to complete over several appointments. However, each individual is different. It is important to understand that your overall oral health, the number of teeth and types that you need to replace, and whether you need to extract your natural teeth or have bone grafting done first will all factor into how long the implant process takes for your overall.
How should you prepare for dental implant surgery?
When preparing for surgery, it is important to follow any instructions the dentist has given you. You may be advised on what you can eat in the hours preceding the operation. The dentist may also prescribe medications that will need to be picked up after the appointment. It can help to find a friend or family member who can drive you to the appointment and assist with any necessary tasks afterward.
Good Candidates for the Implant Procedure
It is a good idea to determine if you are a good candidate for the procedure before talking to a professional. Obviously, you must have one or more missing teeth, but it is also important that you have strong bone structure (or be willing to undergo bone grafting procedures) to ensure the implant can stay in place. Good candidates also have overall good oral health, do not have conditions that would affect the healing process, and do not smoke or chew tobacco.
Preparing for healing and recovery
Many people experience some swelling, bruising, and discomfort following dental surgery. It can be a good idea to stock up on soft foods before going to your surgery appointment. Taking time off work or scheduling your surgery ahead of a long weekend is advisable for allowing time for proper recovery. Follow any instructions given by the dentist regarding how long you should wait before eating tough or hard foods and what care to give your teeth in the meantime.
The Success Rate of Implants
Although there is some variation based on how well the recipient takes care of his or her implants, typically the procedure is successful. This is especially true of people who practice good oral hygiene and see their dentist regularly. Keep in mind that maintaining good gum health is essential for the procedure to be a lasting success.
Dental implants offer you the chance to get a tooth replacement that feels and functions like a natural tooth. You should prepare yourself for several appointments to complete the process from start to finish. The surgery to place the supporting elements for the tooth will likely be a more invasive part of the process, and it is helpful to prepare yourself by keeping soft foods at home and setting aside a few days to recover. Keep in mind that the full process often takes weeks or months and will require a bit of recovery time after each procedure. A dentist can answer additional questions and further help you prepare.
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