What You Should Expect When Getting An Implant?
Are you scheduled for an implant procedure with your dentist and wondering what it entails? Or perhaps you’ve lost a tooth and want to know what your options are. Here’s an overview of everything you should expect when undergoing your first implant, and why you don’t need to be overly worried.
Let’s face it, no one enjoys the thought of oral surgery. But when you’re dealing with an experienced professional, a dental implant is a routine procedure that, while it may lead to some discomfort, is nothing to fret about. In fact, the majority of patients are back to their normal routine by the next day.
Here’s everything that goes into a dental implant procedure, and why if you’re in the Nashville area, you should visit Jody Jones, DDS, for all your restorative dentistry needs.
What is dental implant surgery?
Did you know that the first known use of dental implants can be dated to 600 AD, when the ancient Mayans attached tooth like pieces of shell to replace lost teeth? That’s right, dental implants are more than 1,400 years old, although thankfully these days they don’t involve the use of shellfish.
Basically, dental implants are artificial teeth that entail inserting a small screw into your jaw onto which the false tooth will be attached. The roots will become bonded to your jaw, and the artificial tooth, or crown, will be connected to it. To ensure the root and crown are securely fastened to one another, an abutment is fastened to both of them, holding everything in place.
It’s important that the implant fits seamlessly into your mouth, so the crown will be customized to match the rest of your teeth and smoothly aligned to your other teeth. Generally speaking, implants are the strongest, most durable option for replacing a lost tooth, and in fact the artificial root will actually stimulate bone growth.
It is estimated that more than three million people in the United States today have at least one implant. Each year, more than 500,000 implant procedures occur, helping to ensure patients have a healthy, beautiful smile.
What is the process for getting an implant?
Prior to the actual procedure, you’ll want to make sure you’re dealing with a specialist. Things that need to be considered include a dental team that’s familiar with maxillofacial procedures, periodontology, and the ability to custom design and fits artificial teeth.
It’s necessary to have a comprehensive dental evaluation, including x-rays and 3D images. This not only ensures there are no unforeseen circumstances, such as excessive tooth decay or infection, that could complicate the surgery, but it also allows for your implants to be fully customized so they fit seamlessly in with your other teeth. If your implants will be done by a dentist who is unfamiliar with you, they will also need to thoroughly review your medical history, including any conditions or medications that you are currently taking.
During the actual procedure, patients have several options for anesthesia, including local anesthesia, general anesthesia, or sedation. This will also determine what eating and drinking restrictions you need to follow prior to your appointment. Make sure to ask your dental specialist if you have any questions about their instructions and strictly follow them. And if you’re going to have sedation or general anesthesia, it is recommended you have someone come with you and drive you home afterwards.
Under most circumstances, implant surgery is an outpatient procedure. It normally involves several stages, with adequate rest and recovery time scheduled between each appointment. Step one will be the removal of any damaged teeth and a thorough cleaning. It also might be necessary to prepare your jawbone for the insertion of the root.
When you’re fully ready, you’ll be scheduled for the implant procedure itself, followed by a period for healing and adequate bone growth. The scientific term for this is osseointegration, which means that your bone and implant will grow to become completely and effectively bonded. Next, the abutment will be placed, followed by the crown being attached. Depending on the number of teeth involved, the whole process might take several months from beginning to end.
Following the procedure, your dentist will schedule a follow up appointment to check on your progress and make sure the implant is fitting in nicely. You’ll also want to follow your dentist’s instructions regarding food and beverage intake for the next few days. It’s important to avoid certain foods and drinks that could impair your ability to heal properly.
While this might sound like quite an ordeal, most of the time is reserved for healing and bone growth. This helps ensure that when your new teeth are fully in place, they will be last a lifetime.
Why should you consider getting dental implants?
Dental implants are a form of artificial tooth that can be used to replace missing teeth. One of the biggest advantages of implants is that they are best able to mimic the root of an actual tooth, enabling an artificial tooth that is more secure, isn’t prone to slippage or movement, and can most easily be integrated into the mouth as a whole. Compared to dentures or bridges, implants are much more secure.
People who have lost a tooth for any number of reasons are prime candidates for new implants. To qualify for implants, you need to have a healthy jawbone and gums that are free from infection. Your dentist will also need to ask you about any unrelated health conditions that could impact your ability to properly heal. And while the procedure is considered very safe, in some cases there can be complications, such as infection, nerve damage, sinus problems, or other impacts on the neighboring teeth.
Your Nashville, Tennessee Restorative Dentistry Specialists
At Jody Jones, DDS, the entire team makes the health and well being of our patients our number one priority. We use only the latest equipment and procedures, and you can rest easy knowing that you’ll be treated just like a member of our own family. Our number one goal is to keep everyone in the Nashville area smiling.
If you think a dental implant might be right for you, get in touch today.