DENTAL IMPLANTS

  • What You Can Expect from Your Dental Implant Procedure, Step-By-Step

    Dental Restoration via Implants: What to Expect

    Planning on getting dental implants soon, and are scared about what to expect? Don’t worry, we can help.

    Until a few decades ago, losing one’s teeth was a real worry than it is now! Without implants, the only alternatives were getting dentures or a fixed bridge. And no one really wants dentures if they can help it.

    Things got better, though. With the advent of dental implant technology, extracted teeth got a new lease of life with metal or porcelain prosthesis filling in for the lost tooth, making dental restoration that much easier.

    However, a trip to the dentist can still be a scary proposition, so being informed and updated can be your best bet to the optimal experience.

    So, what is a dental implant?

    Dental implants can be thought of as prosthetics for the teeth. An artificial root made of titanium is placed in the mouth to support a dental crown, denture or bridge. This prosthesis fuses around the jawbone, serving as a replacement root for the missing tooth.

    Why and when should you get an implant?

    Missing tooth or not, going to the dentist is a scary prospect. Especially if its for surgery! Surgery risks along with the fear of dentists may deter many a patient from getting implants.

    However, dental restoration surgery is a relatively painless and affordable solution to a lost tooth.

    Here’s why you should be getting that implant-

    • Dental implant procedures have a high success rate.
    • Dental restoration surgery helps prevent the loss of bone and is a long-term, permanent solution.
    • The surrounding teeth are anchored and do not move into the gaps caused by lost teeth.
    • Implants mirror the look and feel of real teeth, making eating, breathing and talking easier.
    • The bite and shape of the jawline is preserved.

    Here’s a detailed look at what the procedure of dental implant/restoration entails, so you know exactly what to expect.

    Dental Implant surgery can consist of a few sittings and is a complex procedure involving many steps. It starts with an initial oral exam.

    Introductory Examination

    The first step in the dental restoration procedure is to determine if the patient is implant surgery compatible. Consult a qualified dentist in your area for this. The strength of the jawbone is checked, to ensure that it’ll be strong enough to withstand the placement of the implant.

    This is done via a series of x-rays, impressions and CT scans. The dentist will closely examine the area and if you require a bone graft transplant you will be referred to a specialist.

    Specialist Referral

    This is the next step. Visiting a specialist most suited to performing your dental restoration will help make an informed decision about the procedure. Your x-rays, scans, and reports will help the specialist decide on the optimum course of treatment.

    The strength and quality of the bone that the implant will be drilled into, is also tested.

    Prepping

    In anticipation of the surgery, your dentist may instruct you to take some or all of the following steps-

    • Use an antibacterial, chlorhexidine-based mouthwash to prepare the mouth for surgery.
    • Smokers need to stop smoking before the procedure, as smoking may impede the integration process, making the implants weaker. We consider smoking a contraindication to implant surgery.
    • Your dentist might prescribe antibiotics before the dental restoration procedure, as a precaution against infection.
    • And lastly, eat a healthy and nutritious breakfast before the procedure, as you might not be able to eat with a numb mouth. (It is a good idea to check with your dentist earlier, as some kinds of anaesthesia may require you not to eat anything prior.)

    Tooth Extraction-

    In case of a decayed or dead tooth needing to be extracted before the surgery, this is done in a separate procedure and may require an extra visit.

    Again, local anaesthesia is used, and the process of extraction is almost entirely painless, though you may feel a slight tug or a pulling sensation.

    The Surgery-

    The surgery itself is a minimally-invasive, simple process. So there’s no need to be tense or anticipate pain. The anaesthetic needle may sting a little, but that’s all.

    Your dentist will first apply some local anaesthetic to ensure the area is completely numb. If you feel any sensation in the target area then now’s the time to speak up!

    Your dentist will now make an incision in the gums, preparing them to receive the implant. A small hole in the bone is then created, using specialized drills calibrated to the size of the implant chosen.

    The implant root is inserted and reinforced. Dentists, nowadays, usually use self-absorbing stitches to stitch up the implant site, in which case, you don’t have to worry about them.

    With traditional stitches, you may have to make a follow-up appointment to get them remove

    After a few weeks and once the implant has integrated to the bone, impressions are taken and the new tooth is constructed by the technician after which the tooth is screwed onto the implant root.

    The Healing Process and Aftercare-

    Dental implant restoration may be a minor surgery, but the aftercare plays a massive role in proper healing and good results. It is important to keep the area clean and infection-free to prevent pain and accelerate the healing process.

    Your doctor may issue some or all of the following instructions to you-

    • Follow up with early check-ups. Your dentist may want to see you again quite soon to check on the progress. Do not miss these appointments, as the aftercare is just as important as the main procedure.
    • Maintain a healthy diet. As with any other oral procedure, what you eat is really important. Stick to softer, easier foods to chew, and avoid stress on your implants.
    • Keep the area as clean as possible and visit the hygienist regularly too. In the aftermath of a surgery, cleanliness becomes all the more imperative to prevent infections.
    • You may feel a dull ache in your gums after surgery. Pain can be kept at bay by taking painkillers your dentist recommends. 

    The prospect of getting a dental implant surgery may seem daunting, but if you’re equipped with the right information and instructions, there is really no need to worry.

    Dental implant surgery has over 95% chances of success! Smile your way to stronger, natural-looking teeth.  

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