A dental implant is a procedure performed to replace the root of a tooth with a metal and screw-like post. This is also used to replace missing or damaged teeth with an artificial one that functions and looks like a real one. This kind of dental surgery offers an alternative to bridgework or dentures that may not fit well.
How this surgery is performed is dependent on the implant’s type, as well as the condition of the jawbone. But all implant surgeries happen in different stages and involved various procedures. One of the main benefits of the procedure is the solid support for the new teeth.
Why Dental Implant is done?
The process involves surgically placing the implant in the jawbone that will serve as roots for the missing teeth. Implants are made from titanium and fused with the jawbone. The implant does not slip, create noise, or cause any bone damage. At the same time, the material does not decay like real teeth. Dental implant can be a procedure if the person has:
- Missing teeth
- Has a jawbone that has reached its full growth
- Has enough bone that will support the implant or bone graft
- Has healthy tissues
- Has no health conditions that may affect healing
- Has the desire to improve his speech
- Has the willingness to commit a few months for the process
Dental implant is a procedure that requires more than one surgical procedure. Therefore, it’s important to undergo an extensive evaluation of the process and this should include the following.
- Dental Exam- Dental X-rays should be taken, as well as models that are made of your mouth and teeth.
- Treatment Plan- This should be depending on your situation. The plan should take into consideration the different factors like the number of teeth that should be replaced and the condition of the jawbone. Additionally, various dental specialists, including those who specialize in conditions concerning the mouth, face, and jaw, and dentists who work with structures that support the teeth.
If you have any medical condition, or taking any medicine such as supplements and over-the-counter drugs, you need to inform your doctor immediately. If you have orthopedic implants or heart conditions, the doctor should prescribe antibiotics prior to the surgery in order to prevent infection.
In order to control the pain, anesthesia is injected for sedation. Discuss with your specialist which is the best option. The team of specialists in charge of you will provide instructions regarding drinking and eating before surgery.
What to Expect?
In most cases, the surgery is done as an outpatient and in the following stages.
- Removal of the damaged tooth
- Preparing the jawbone for the surgery, may involve the process of bone grafting
- Placing of the dental implant when the bone heals
- Going through the healing period for a few months
- Placing of the abutment (implant extension followed by the artificial tooth)
The whole process of the implant will take several months from beginning to end. Often, it’s 3-9 months or longer. The majority of the time is spent on healing and for the new bone to grow in the jaw.
Dental implants procedure helps many people gain back their confidence and to function better when it comes to speaking, eating, and doing daily activities. Talk to your dentist and have your condition be evaluated to find out if you can have a dental implant or have other forms of dental surgery as an alternative.