WHO CAN AVAIL OF DENTAL IMPLANTS?
Although dental implants are currently used by over a million people worldwide, not everyone can avail of them. Only a professional implantologist can decide whether you’re an ideal candidate for dental implants after a thorough evaluation of your physical and mental condition. He or she will carefully examine your mouth, teeth, and gums and may take X-ray studies, blood tests, and other diagnostic exams. In general, if you have enough jawbone in which to place the implant and your gums are healthy, you can benefit from dental implants if you are in good health.
HOW SHOULD YOU PREPARE FOR DENTAL IMPLANT SURGERY?
There are a number of things you should do to make your implant surgery successful. Wear loose light clothes and have someone drive you home. To prevent infection, your dentist may tell you to take antibiotics, brush your teeth, and use an antiseptic mouthwash. He or she will give you a sedative to help you relax and a local anesthetic so you won’t feel any pain.
WHAT ARE THE STAGES OF DENTAL IMPLANT SURGERY?
In the first stage which can take a few hours, the dentist makes an incision in your gums and drills a hole in your jawbone to accommodate the implant. After placing the implant, the gums are sutured and allowed to heal for three to six months for osseointegration to take place. This is the process wherein the bone cells grow around the implant and hold it in place.
In the second stage, an abutment (small metal post) is attached to the implant in a quick and painless procedure. This will serve as an anchor for your new teeth.
The last stage of dental implant surgery involves creating your new teeth or prosthesis. To do this, the dentist takes impressions (imprints of your teeth and jaws) to design a model of your mouth and the abutments in it. This will ensure that your prosthesis fits properly. Your prosthesis may be fixed (permanently attached) or removable.
WHAT PRECAUTIONS SHOULD YOU TAKE AFTER DENTAL IMPLANT SURGERY?
Following surgery, you should eat soft foods to avoid pressure on your jaw and help the implant bond with the bone. Routine visits to your dentist are important to monitor the healing process and check that everything is fine. He or she will tell you how to brush, floss your teeth and care for your implant.
WHAT ARE THE RISKS OF DENTAL IMPLANT SURGERY?
Dental implant surgery has a very high success rate if you consult a professional implantologist and follow instructions carefully. If anything goes wrong, however, your dentist can redo the procedure and replace the faulty implant. Be alert for signs of trouble such as bleeding, swelling, fever, numbness or pain that won’t respond to prescription medication.
HOW MUCH DOES THE PROCEDURE COST?
That will depend on several factors: the kind of dental implant used, the number of implants needed, and the type of prosthesis that’s right for you. Your dentist will tell you what’s involved and how the procedure will benefit you.
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