September 8, 2020

What to Expect Before, During, and After Dental Implants: A Complete Guide

dental implants

With the total number of dental implants expected to increase by 23 percent between 2020 and 2026, they’re an increasingly popular procedure — and it’s not hard to see why.

Many people have a tooth missing, and it can be a source of self-consciousness. Not only that, but there can be medical ramifications too.

Teeth are there to hold your mouth and jaw in place, and to ensure you can comfortably bite and chew. When one is missing, it can begin to cause problems. These can include:

  • The formation of plaque in spaces left, causing more bacteria
  • Chronic headaches
  • Bone loss in the jaw, causing your face to shrink

Dental implants are artificial teeth that replace the missing one, held together so that they should last a long time.

If your missing tooth has been annoying you and you want to look into implants, here’s all you need to know.

Before Getting Dental Implants

Before getting implants, you presumably want to do some research. Some of this you should learn on your own, and much of it will be discussed with your dentist.

How to Ensure Success

With a success rate of 98 percent, your dental implant is likely to go great — but there are a few things you can do to help.

Mainly, you should disclose any medication you’re currently on. As well as this, if you suffer from periodontitis (gum disease), this needs to be completely cleared up before surgery.

Make sure you discuss all of this and your medical history with your dentist to check if you can go ahead.

What the Dentist Needs to Check

There are also a few things the dentist will have to check before scheduling the surgery.

They will have to check your jaw. Bone grafting is often required if the jaw bone is too soft to support a dental implant, meaning bone will be taken from elsewhere in the body to support the implant.

The healing process of bone grafting can take a few months, or even as much as a year, so your surgery will only be able to happen after this is complete.

Bone grafting is very common, so don’t be concerned if this is required. It’s a very minimal amount of bone taken, but essential to ensuring the implant’s success.

Dental implant costs can also be discussed with the dentist themselves since it will vary depending on the procedure and the practice. Some dentists will offer financing options.

Once all of this is out of the way, you will be able to proceed!

The Procedure

The dental implant procedure itself will depend on what’s required to replace your tooth or teeth (since there are different types of dental implants), but the surgeries have a general outline in common.

If you have any anxiety over the surgery, make sure you communicate this to your dentist who may be able to prescribe something to help. Remember they’ve probably done a thousand of these, and it’s unlikely yours will be the one that goes wrong.

The pain will be managed with anesthesia. This might be general or local — your dentist will know which is appropriate for the surgery you’re having.

Small incisions will be made to expose the bone and create room for the dental implant, and a screw will be fixed in the space.

You may then need some time for the bone to fuse with the screw. Once this has happened, the abutment can be placed, which is what will keep your crown secure.

The final step is to add the artificial tooth (or “crown”). You may require some follow-up to ensure the implant fits well and there are no complications, but with a high success rate and considering this is a minor surgery, you should now be good to go!

After Dental Implants

So you’ve had your crown fitted, and the process is complete. What now?

Immediate Aftercare

Although the word “surgery” can put people off ever having this procedure done, rest assured it’s minor and the pain and discomfort that follows should also be minor. It can be managed with painkillers.

Your dentist will recommend one or might prescribe a slightly stronger one depending on how much pain and discomfort is expected.

There may be some swelling and slight bleeding, all of which are normal. Avoid hard foods immediately after the surgery and ensure you’re taking care to keep the area clean with an anti-bacterial mouthwash.

The Healing Process

If you do everything correctly and follow aftercare instructions, the healing process should be fairly easy. Take your painkillers for as long as is appropriate and be gentle on the area (but ensure you keep it clean).

However, if the pain is particularly bad or the site of the implant seems to become infected, contact a medical professional as soon as possible.

Smoking will affect healing badly, so avoid it.

If aftercare instructions are not followed, there can be complications. Some of these include:

  • Infection
  • The implant not fusing to the bone properly
  • The body rejecting the implant

That’s why it’s essential to listen carefully to any instructions given and ensure they’re followed.

These complications, however, are rare.

Enjoy Your New Implants!

Dental implants will make a world of difference. Whether you’re getting one to avoid physical complications that can come with a missing tooth or because you’re self-conscious about your smile, either reason is valid.

When the surgery is so minor and has such a high success rate, there’s no reason to delay. Book yourself in for an implant and see how much this minor surgery can improve your life.

If you’re looking for dental implants in Suwanee, Georgia, and would like to discuss them, contact us today!