If you already have one or two missing teeth, or are faced with the prospect of having teeth extracted in the future then you’ll already know how upsetting this can be. Of course you can have them replaced with a dental bridge or with a denture, but these are less than ideal solutions. A much better choice is to have dental implants put in, as this is the next best thing to a natural tooth. If looked after properly, then dental implants can last a very long time, and can prove to be a cost effective and far more comfortable way of replacing one or more missing teeth.
The Procedure for Dental Implants
The first step towards getting dental implants is to make an appointment with your dentist to see whether or not you’re suitable for this treatment. It’s not for everyone, as if you have diabetes then it must be properly controlled, and anyone who smokes is more at risk of this treatment failing. In addition there must be plenty of healthy bone to support the implant, as otherwise it may be necessary to do a bone graft first to prepare the implant site.
Your dentist will want to take x-rays and a CT scan to make sure the bone in your jaw is of a good enough quality. The CT scan also enables your dentist to plan the placement of the dental implants, as it is essential they know where all the nerves are located. The actual process of inserting the implant is relatively straightforward and is really quite quick. Most people are able to have the surgery with just a local anesthetic. However if you are having several implants placed, or are particularly nervous then your dentist may offer you extra sedation. You will need to rest up for the rest of the day at least, but may even feel well enough to return to work the following day. Some people experience some discomfort which can easily be controlled with painkillers prescribed by your dentist, or which can be bought over-the-counter.
Afterwards the implant site will need to be left to heal as this enables the implant to integrate with the bone and will make sure it is strong enough to support the final restoration. The exact time frame depends on individual situation and the type of implant being placed. Some implants can be loaded relatively quickly, while others must be left to heal for several months. The final stage is to make the restoration. This can be a dental crown, or a bridge, and implants can even be used to support full dentures.
It is essential to follow your dentist’s instructions for looking after the implant, as it must be kept clean to ensure infections don’t develop around the implant site. The success rate for this surgery can be as high as 95%.
For more information on dental implants, or if you have any other dental issues you would like to discuss, contact your Richardson, TX dentist, Dr. Kerry Goad today.