What is a Dental Implant Procedure Like?
Dental implant surgery usually entails several small procedures performed on an outpatient basis, with the whole process taking anywhere between three and nine months, says Mayo Clinic. People most likely need a dental implant if their existing tooth has sustained trauma or decay and is no longer viable. If not removed, the tooth could turn brown and fall out on its own, leading to even more oral health care problems. First off, let’s go over what a dental implant is:
Basics of Dental Implants?
They are basically replacement tooth roots that provide a strong foundation for fixed or removable replacement teeth custom made to fit you. There are many advantages to dental implants, according to WebMD. Dental implants can:
- Improve your appearance so you have a nice, healthy, even smile
- Improve your speech; with dentures that don’t fit well, you can experience slurring when you try to speak
- Improve your comfort level
- Easier eating because they act as your own teeth with no dentures to remove or chew around
- Improved self-confidence
- Better oral health; unlike dentures, individual implants allow you to gain access in between teeth for more thorough brushing and flossing
- implants function like your own teeth, allowing you to eat your favorite foods with confidence and without pain
- Increased durability
- Improved convenience, as you don’t have to worry about removing dentures to eat and sleep
Dental Implants: What to Expect
The first step is to go in for a consultation with your dentist. He or she will give you a thorough oral exam and talk with you about your options. You’ll learn how many visits it will take to achieve the desired result, how long each visit will be, how much it will cost and what portions are covered by your insurance. In general, here’s what to expect:
- The damaged tooth is removed.
- The jawbone is prepped for surgery; you may need bone grafting if it is too soft or thin. This occurs when a piece of bone is taken from another part of your jaw or even your hip and transplanted to your jaw. This can take many months to properly take. Once your dentist feels the bone can support an implant, he or she will proceed with the surgery.
- After the jawbone heals, the dentist will insert the dental implant metal post in the jawbone. This entails making an incision in the gum to expose the bone, where holes are drilled for the post. A gap will be present where your tooth once was, but a temporary denture will be placed there in the mean time for appearance sake.
- The healing period may last up to six months. This is when osseointegration occurs, which is when the jawbone unifies with the dental implant surface.
- Your dentist inserts the abutment, which is an extension of the implant metal post around which the gum tissue will be encouraged to grow. This is what the crown will attach to.
- A crown (basically an artificial tooth) is placed after a couple of weeks of additional healing time.
- You will get to choose between a removable implant prosthesis and a fixed implant prosthesis.
After dental implant surgery, you can expect some swelling of your gums and even face, possibly some bruising as well. Minor pain and discomfort at the sight may be present as well, with some minor bleeding.
Contact Metroplex Dentistry
To schedule your consultation with Metroplex Implants & Family Dentistry, contact us at (972) 233-5447. Rely on Metroplex Implants & Family Dentistry for all your implant and family dentistry needs.