What Is Dental Implant?
Thanks to further technological advancements in dentistry, more options are becoming available to patients in need of dental aid for tooth loss. While dental bridges and dentures (partial or complete) have been available for the longest time, newer alternatives such as dental implants offer modern solutions compared to the former.
With metal posts substituting tooth roots and artificial teeth that serve as replacements, implants provide a more natural-looking functionality and aesthetic. Dental implants are considered permanent replacements for missing teeth and require more maintenance compared to the aforementioned alternatives.
How to Prepare for a Dental Implant Procedure?
Before undertaking a dental implant procedure, you must be ready to prepare your body just like with any other surgery. It implies an initial visit to your dentist for a thorough examination. This will determine if you are fit to proceed with the treatment. You might undergo several tests, such as x-rays, a visual examination of your mouth, and a look into your past health records. A treatment plan will also be made accordingly.
Depending on the initial checkup, your dentist will determine if you need to take some antibiotics hours before the surgery. You might also need to prepare yourself for a sudden but temporary shift in your diet, especially post-surgery, mostly consisting of soft foods and liquids. Before the procedure, you’ll be advised if fasting is needed as well.
The Stages of a Dental Implant
What Happens During a Dental Implant Procedure?
After the preliminary examinations, your dentist and the team will then proceed with the operations. Usually, the healing process will take time as multiple procedures and visits will be required. The dental implant procedure usually goes as follows:
Tooth Extraction (if needed)
Some patients undergo the procedure with existing damaged teeth that need to be removed. This is done to prevent further decay and to be able to place the implant on site.
Bone grafting is done to ensure that you’ll have a solid base of bone before placing the implant. This step is done for patients with soft and/or thin jawbones to help support their functionality with the bone graft. Options in bone grafting vary depending on the patient’s needs. These include natural and synthetic bone grafts. If the patient has enough bone to support the implant, the tooth extraction and placement of the implant could happen at one appointment, known as an “immediate implant” placement.
Once the bone is ready to support the implant, the metal post, commonly made of titanium, will be placed by drilling it into the bone. This will serve as your tooth root. While waiting for it to heal, a temporary partial denture will be provided for aesthetic reasons. Healing time may take about 2 to 4 months. Osseointegration then occurs, which means the merging of your jawbone and the dental implant.
Putting the Abutment
An abutment is a smaller post that serves as the connection between the implant and the replacement tooth. It will ensure that the two are firmly secured.
Placing the Crown
After these procedures, the crown will finally be placed. A dental crown serves as an artificial tooth, molded intricately to match your lost tooth, from the shape to the color and the bite. You can consult your dentist on whether you’re going to get a removable or fixed crown as a replacement tooth.
What Are the Complications When Getting Dental Implants?
A dental implant procedure is a safe operation, but there might be complications that may arise. Consult your dentist if you experience any sort of discomfort. Common types of discomfort may include pain and discomfort at the site of the implant, bleeding, as well as swelling, soreness, and bruises on your gums and face.
How to Take Care of Dental Implants
After the initial checkups, the dentist will determine if you’ll need to take a course of medicine to help you manage discomfort. You may also need to shift to a temporary soft diet after the procedure. Make sure to follow all the instructions given for your aftercare. To take care of the implants, expect that your dentist will explain how to do so. Additionally, you must continue with proper dental hygiene to maintain the cleanliness of the implants and avoid further infections.
How Much Does a Dental Implant Procedure Cost?
A dental implant procedure has varying costs, and it depends on a range of variables, including the insurance coverage (if there is any), the dental office you’re inquiring about, the type of procedure and implant that will be used, the number of teeth that need replacement, and many others. An average rate in Canada could start at around $1000 and go well above that, considering the factors mentioned above. You may inquire with us down here for an accurate quotation.
What Are the Types of Dental Implants?
There are two common types of dental implants that a patient could choose from, endosteal and subperiosteal implants. Endosteal implants are the most common choice, with screw-like posts that are put into the jaw to merge together and then placed with artificial teeth. This procedure is done for patients who have healthy jawbones. Subperiosteal implants, on the other hand, are done for patients who don’t have enough jawbone to support the implant. Unlike the former, subperiosteal implants are posts attached to the gum that wait for the gum to heal to merge with the implant. The prosthetic teeth will then be mounted to the poles once healed.
What Is the Difference Between Dental Crowns and Dental Implants?
Dental implants and dental crowns are some of the latest innovations in dental alternatives to tooth loss and/or infection. Dental crowns and dental implants serve different purposes. Both are treatments that help patients feel complete functionality for broken or missing teeth. The former is used to cover up broken and existing teeth, while the latter is used to replace missing teeth, aided by crowns that will be attached to the implants.
1. Does a dental implant procedure hurt?
As with any surgery, you may experience some discomfort during and after the procedure. Nonetheless, it is a safe one, and must only be handled by the appropriate professionals. You will also be provided with a local anesthetic to help you with the discomfort during the procedure.
2. What kind of dentist performs dental implant procedures?
Dental experts with surgical expertise, such as oral maxillofacial surgeons (or simply called “oral surgeons“), are the best people for the procedure.
3. Am I allowed to eat after a dental implant procedure?
That will be determined by your dentist, although in most cases, only soft and liquid-based foods are advised to be eaten post-surgery.
4. What can I do to properly maintain my dental implants?
You must maintain proper dental hygiene in order to maintain your dental implants. These include regular brushing and flossing of the teeth, a healthy and balanced diet, as well as avoiding putting too much pressure on your teeth. More importantly, a regular visit to the dental office for checkups will help.