When you miss out on a single tooth or multiple teeth, dental implant surgery is one of the most technically advanced procedures that you might opt for as a restorative treatment. There are some reasons that individuals count upon while selecting dental implants as their mode of treatment. Missing teeth candidates search for ‘dental implants near me’ because:
- They provide a long-lasting solution for your missing teeth. In absence of any major trauma or accident, implants last for almost two decades! This goes on to cover the rest of the lifetime for many patients.
- Implants are free of cleaning hazards. Since they are fixed to your jaws and as good as your permanent teeth, the normal brushing flossing regime constitutes the maintenance part.
- Most importantly, surgically inserted implants do not run the risk of slipping out or falling off while speaking, talking or eating. There is no scope of loose fittings (as in case of dentures since the jawbone gradually wears out and disrupts the fittings of the artificial restoration).
Dental implant surgery is often not opted for by patients. This is because they are under the notion that the process is complex and painful. However, the converse is in fact true. With sedation dentistry, implants (like most other surgeries) are a painless procedure and it is one of the closest things that one can get to natural teeth. Nevertheless, since implants are a strong and nearly permanent restoration for your lost tooth, the entire procedure takes a considerable amount of time.
The Implant Surgery
Preparing for the Surgery
X-rays of the mouth are taken in order to assess your bite, determine the location of the implant to be posted, and the health of your jawbone. Also, models of your teeth might be made to aid in surgical purposes. After thorough planning of execution of the surgery, anesthesia or sedation is applied (according to the dental surgeon’s instructions.)
First, any existing tooth is extracted out (while replacing a damaged tooth and not a missing one). After examining your jaw condition, if your dentist feels that you need more bone mass, the second step is bone grafting. When bone grafting is attempted, some amount of time needs to be allowed for the site to heal.
After the healing time is over, the candidate comes back for a second surgery where the gum is slightly slit in order to expose the bone. A hole is drilled into the bone where the implant needs to be posted. The titanium metal is placed and the incision is closed. Remember, the implant is not the tooth replacement. It only serves the purpose of “natural roots” for the artificial tooth (that is to be placed above). This step again involves some major waiting time (for a few months), for the jawbone around to fuse with the implant. This process is called – osseointegration.
From the above mentioned steps, one can easily make out that the foundation for an artificial tooth in dental implant surgery is a strong one. After osseointegration, the last and final step involves placing the crown (artificial tooth), which is a custom-made restoration prepared in the lab by your dentist.
The final step
After osseointegration, some amount of local anesthesia is administered to attach an abutment. An abutment connects the prosthetic tooth to the implant. Sometimes, a healing cap on the implant is placed for a few weeks for gum healing before the abutment is placed. A temporary crown remains for four to six weeks after which, it is finally replaced with the permanent crown.
Post-Surgical Care for Implants
After your dental implant surgery, minor pain and bleeding for a short while is quite normal. Even swelling of the gums and face is rare but does not call for an emergency dental visit, however. The worst case of a post-surgical recovery is the suture hurting the tongue! Also, aftercare involves a soft food diet for 2 to 3 weeks along with anti-inflammatory medications, pain relievers or antibiotics if necessary.