Have you been thinking about getting dental implants? If you’re wondering if the procedure might be right for you, read below to find out if you’re a proper candidate and what dental implant surgery entails.
Who are Dental Implants for?
Dental implants are designed for patients with a variety of dental defects. You may be the right fit for dental implants if you are missing at least one tooth. You will need to have a fully-grown jaw bone that is able to secure the implants. You must be healthy, with healthy oral tissue and no other underlying health conditions such as chronic illness, immunosuppressive diseases or pregnancy. You must also be willing to commit to several months of recovery and must not be a smoker. If you do not fit these requirements and are able and willing to wear dentures, they may be a better option for you than dental implants.
If you are a good fit for dental implants, you should be prepared for everything that the surgery involves. Dental implants replace the roots of your teeth with metal posts, which bond with your natural bone. Your crowns are then connected to the posts. Crowns look and function like real teeth and create solid support for your existing teeth by preserving your jaw bone.
You will prepare for the procedure with examinations from a variety of specialists. You will also discuss your anesthesia preferences. The surgery will occur in several stages so you will need to be prepared to undergo more than one procedure.
You may need a bone graft, which will take several months to grow enough for the next step of the procedure.
Once you have an adequate bone mass for the surgery, your surgeon will drill a hole into your jawbone and implant the post. You can have a temporary denture placed for appearance if desired, as it will take several months for your jawbone to grow and unite with the post.
Once this process is complete, you may need a separate surgery to place the abutment, which connects the post to your crown.
Once both pieces are placed, you will heal for two more weeks, and then your crown will be placed. You can choose from removable or fixed crowns.
After your surgery
You may have to deal with discomfort, pain, bleeding, swelling or bruising. You may require pain medication to help handle these challenges. You will be required to eat a diet of soft foods until your crown heals. The healing process will be easier if you take care of your teeth, check in with your cosmetic dentist regularly and avoid habits such as smoking, drinking coffee and chewing gum. However, the procedure will all be worth it when you have beautiful, functional teeth that are indistinguishable from your natural smile.
If you are interested in dental implants, contact Gulf Coast Dental. Our compassionate team of dentists and dental hygienists will work with you to find the best solution for your smile. Call us today and discuss your cosmetic dentistry options.