Aches and pains are not ideal especially when they’re coming from the sensitive nerves in your mouth. What was once a small cavity can quickly progress into an immensely agonizing issue. Fortunately, advances in technology have made dental implants a common and affordable option. The idea of surgery may cause alarm for some, however once the specifics of the procedure are clearly explained, you may realize dental implants aren’t as bad as you think.
Who Is A Candidate?
Those with damaged or missing teeth are routinely referred to specialists as potential dental implant patients. Persons looking to enhance their smile for cosmetic reasons are also frequent recipients of implant replacements. A dental professional will consult with the patient regarding their specific needs and the most appropriate treatment options. An individualized treatment plan will be created by a team of oral surgeons and reconstructive dentists. This plan will serve as the foundation for each of the subsequent steps of the procedure.
How Is It Done?
A titanium screw-like post is rooted in the bone socket, deep within the gumline of the removed tooth. This will serve as the base for the replacement implant. As the jawbone progresses through each phase of healing, the base is securely rooted in the jaw. The dentist will wait until osseointegration or the healing process is completed before proceeding with the final steps of the surgery. This is to ensure that the new tooth is attached to a solid, firm base just as the natural tooth would have been. This will aid the patient in performing normal activities such as chewing and eating with little concern.
A model is formed from an impression of the patient’s current teeth. This will assist the reconstructive team in creating proportionate crowns, or replacement teeth. The newly constructed replacements are secured onto the base by a small connecting post called an abutment.
Varying upon the patient’s individual circumstances, the dental professional may opt to implant individual crowns. For more severe cases, the patient may have attachments installed in the jawline that will support removable dentures. Size, shape, and color of the patient’s natural teeth are all taken into consideration when creating proper implants. Overall, the healing process can take anywhere between 6-12 weeks to complete.
Does It Hurt?
Concerns surrounding the level of pain associated with any form of surgery are understandably raised by patients of all backgrounds. Fortunately, the vast majority of people who have undergone dental implants report little to no discomfort during the procedure. Skilled professionals ensure their patients are comfortably sedated with local anesthesia. Many patients go as far as to say that implants are less painful than the actual tooth extraction. Depending on the extent of the surgery and the rate at which the patient’s mouth heals, the process can take a few months to be completed. Post-surgery discomfort is usually subdued with mild over-the-counter medications such as Motrin and Tylenol.
What To Expect
Slight swelling of the gums and face are usual post-surgery reactions. Patients may be required to commit to a soft food diet until the affected area is properly healed. If the discomfort persists longer than 10-14 days after the surgery has been completed, it is advised to contact the dentist for a closer examination. The new implants require the same amount of care and attention as natural teeth. Daily brushing, flossing, and maintaining routine dental appointments will assist in the lasting of the implants for years to come.