Getting Dental Implants: What to Expect During the Procedure

Since the start of the century, the use of dental implants in teeth repair has become far more common. It is something over one in twenty people have, so if you are going to get one, there is no need to worry as it is not unusual. Though, do you understand what they are and what you can expect when you get them?

If you are planning on getting dental implants, we can walk you through the steps you can expect to run through. Use these as a step-by-step guide so you know what is coming up and you can prepare for what is to come.

Why Might You Need Dental Implants

There are many reasons why a dental specialist might recommend you get dental implants.

One of the main benefits of dental implants is to cover up missing teeth by replacing them. When you have missing teeth, you can sometimes find it much harder to chew food or even sometimes speak. A dental implant will act as if you had it as a natural tooth all along, giving you back the functionality you had before.

Another reason you might be recommended a dental implant is for simple aesthetics. It might look obvious you have lost a tooth, especially your front teeth. Dental implants hide this and the implants will look to others as though they are natural teeth in your mouth.

Before the Procedure

There are several steps you need to go through before you receive dental implants. Each one is very important, as they give the dental specialist more information about your situation. This can help ensure you are safe and comfortable during the procedure.

Consultation With the Surgeon

After selecting an oral surgeon, you will need to consult with them to talk about your options for the implant itself. They will run you through the process to ensure your implant fits and should inform you of what your options will be afterward.

The dental specialist can also check your mouth’s general hygiene and work out if you need to take any specific steps to keep it healthy. There is always a small chance you cannot get dental implants, due to the health of your mouth and jaw, but you should discuss that with the oral surgeon.

Examination and X-Rays

After talking to the surgeon, one of the most important dental implant steps is to get a good idea of what the inside of your mouth looks like. This helps the dental specialist know if there are any unexpected situations inside your mouth, such as misaligned teeth.

The main way they discover this is by performing a visual inspection of your mouth, as well as taking x-rays to see inside your gums and teeth. They can then see if anything under the surface might impair their ability to install implants.

The Day of the Procedure

When the dental implant procedure is due to start, your dental surgeon will talk to you about the steps they will take. There will be a few different options, so expect them to ask you about some of the following:

Anesthesia Options

The surgeon will check your medical history and talk to you about what the best anesthesia options are for you. One of the most common is for a simple local anesthetic. This numbs the local area, keeping you awake and aware of everything going on without pain.

Another choice is to give you nitrous oxide, or “laughing gas”. While you still feel more of the procedure, the gas gives you a sense of euphoria so you can endure it without anxiety.

Some surgeons go as far as to use intravenous anesthetic. This either puts the patient to sleep or causes them to relax completely. This is a powerful effect, and patients may not remember the procedure afterward.

Depending on the anesthetic you use, you may be encouraged to have a friend or family member with you to be with you while you recover.

Preparation of the Implant Site

The surgeon will start by making a small incision in your gum to access the bone underneath. They will then create a small hole in the jaw to attach the implant to. After installing the implant, they will stitch the gums back together.

Temporary Crown

Once the implant is in place, the surgeon will install a temporary crown on top. This will not look like the natural tooth but will stay in place while your jaw heals and the surgeon creates the final crown.

These crowns are often made of plastic or acrylic, and as such you cannot expect them to last as long. So make sure you are careful while it is in place.

Allowing for Healing

Between the temporary and final crown, you need to ensure your mouth heals. You are likely to have stitches in your mouth, so you should stay aware of them when you are brushing your teeth and chewing.

Permanent Crown

Once the final crown is ready, the surgeon will make another appointment to put it in place. This will match both the color and shape of your natural teeth, so it will be perfect for a long time to come.

The Recovery Process

During this period, you should have received information from your specialist on how to ensure your teeth stay healthy. Make sure to follow their instructions.

This might include post-operation care for your teeth, as well as dietary restrictions to help your teeth heal.

Follow-Up Appointment

Sometime after the installation of the implant, you should make a new appointment. During this check-up, the surgeon will ensure the implant is secure and does not need further work. There is always a small possibility the implant does not integrate with the jaw as it should, so it is always a good idea to get someone to check.

More Than Only Dental Implants

With the above information in hand, you can start thinking about dental implants and make much better decisions about your health. Still, there is always more to understand about dental procedures and how to handle other oral health issues. Our articles carry a whole host of information about these and more.

So, check out our blog to learn more about how to improve your health and talk to medical specialists about your needs.

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