Are you planning to undergo a dental implant procedure? Are you prepared for the actual process of installing implants?
More people with missing teeth are starting to embrace dental implants. Surveys revealed that over five million people in the United Kingdom may enjoy clinical benefits from implants.
Though some people find full dental implants pricey, the success rate remains high. In fact, 98% of dental implant procedures end with positive results. Despite the soaring success rate, you still need to prepare accordingly.
You need to know what to expect from the procedure.
Continue reading below as we discuss the things you can expect before, during, and after a dental implant procedure.
Understanding Full Dental Implants
Despite the price of dental implants, the procedure’s popularity continues to soar. The benefits do outweigh the price of the procedure. The implants are a permanent solution and provide remarkable stability and comfort.
Now let’s take a look at things you should expect if you finally decide to pursue the implants.
Like any dental procedure, you will start with the planning stage. Since the procedure takes more than one session, this may involve different specialists.
You may encounter a practitioner who specializes in the different conditions of the face, jaw, and mouth. A dentist who specializes in treating the bones and gums will likely take a look at you as well.
In some cases, an ear, nose, and throat (ENT) specialist may also enter the picture.
Part of the planning stage is a comprehensive dental exam. This involves taking X-rays and 3D images of your teeth.
The dentists will also review your medical history. During this juncture, you need to inform the dentist if you have any medical conditions. You also need to disclose the medications and supplements you are currently taking.
This is crucial especially for people who have heart conditions. The dentist may first prescribe some antibiotics before proceeding with the dental procedure.
Another important part of the planning stage is determining a treatment plan. This depends on the key factors concerning your situation. They consider the number of implants, the number of teeth remaining, and your jawbone’s condition.
Before starting the procedure, your dentist will prep you for the surgery. They will give you a special mouthwash that has anti-bacterial properties.
They will also prescribe some antibiotics a few days leading to the day of the surgery. The antibiotics are part of a preventative measure.
On the day of the surgery, you have to eat a hearty breakfast. But this only applies if you are not going through sedation. If you are, then the dentist will instruct you to fast after midnight, the night before the procedure.
In case you choose to take the sedation route, bring someone with you. He or she should drive you to the clinic and bring you home after the procedure.
3. Phase One
A full dental implant process takes two phases to complete. The entire process may take a total of six to nine months, depending on your condition. Phase one begins with the numbing of your mouth with local anaesthesia.
Once the anaesthesia kicks in, the dental surgeon will make an incision on your gums. The incision will expose the bone where the implants will connect.
To create a space for the implant, the surgeon will use a special drill.
But sometimes, your jaw may require bone grafting. This happens when the jawbone is too soft of lack thickness.
Whenever you chew, your bone absorbs strong pressure. If your jawbone is not strong enough to support the implant, the procedure will fail. Thus, bone grafting is necessary.
Once the jawbone is good to go, the surgeon can screw the implant in place. The dentist will either use an implant drill or a hand tool to screw the implant.
Once the implant is already in place, the surgeon will screw a second component. He will screw the component on the implant itself. It will stay there throughout the duration of your recovery.
After screwing the component, the surgeon will close gums over the implant. It usually takes one to two stitches to close the incision.
4. Phase Two (abutment placement, choosing the crown)
For the second phase, it begins with the re-exposure of the implants. The surgeon will make a new incision on your gums to expose the implants.
He will then place a small extension on the implants. The extension is what the laboratory will use to fit your new crown.
What follows will be a series of appointments. The goal of these appointments is to ensure that you are healing well. Moreover, your dentist will use this time to create your new implant crown.
Through the impressions that the dentist will derive from your implants, he will create working models of your entire mouth. This will serve as his guide until he achieves an implant crown that perfectly fits you.
In the middle of this process, you will also wait for your bone to grow. Your jawbone will grow and unite with the surface of the implants. This will take several months so you need to a lot of patience.
Once your jawbone heals, the dentist will place an abutment. This is where the implant crown will eventually attach.
As for the crown, you can choose which type of artificial teeth you want. You can go for removable ones or the permanent type.
The final part of phase two is the placement of the crown.
5. Pain and Discomfort
Part of the healing stage is pain and discomfort. Expect your gums and face to swell. You may also experience bruising in these areas.
As for the pain, you will likely feel it around the area of the implants. To counter the pain, your dentist will prescribe a painkiller. This can be hydrocodone, codeine, or ibuprofen.
If you see blood, don’t worry. Expect minor bleeding to occur for a few days.
If the pain becomes too unbearable in the coming days, call your dentist immediately. Sometimes, complications happen. Infection may occur around the gums and jawbone.
There are also cases when the body rejects the dental implants. In extremely rare cases, the implants fail to unite with the bone.
Care and Maintenance
Part of ensuring the success of your full dental implants is proper care and maintenance. There are cases wherein severe gum infection occurs because of poor maintenance. Failing to address infection may result in the complete loss of the jaw.
Here are some tips to ensure the safety, beauty, and performance of your implants:
1. Start with Oral Hygiene
Invest in an interdental brush that works best for dental implants. This kind of toothbrush has bristles that easily slide in between teeth. They can reach the deepest nooks around the gums, teeth, and metal posts.
2. Cut the Bad Habits
Are you a heavy biter? Cut the habit of chewing and biting hard items. This includes candy and ice. Chewing too hard may lead to your crowns breaking.
If you are a smoker, now is the time to put an end to the habit. Smoking affects the fusion of the jawbone and the implants. There are studies showing implants of heavy smokers failing at a higher rate compared to those of non-smokers.
In case you tend to grind your teeth, consult with your dentist on ways to address the matter.
3. Don’t Neglect Regular Checkups
After the procedure and its corresponding checkups, you should never neglect your regular dental visits. This will help ensure that your implants are in excellent condition.
Moreover, your dentist can help clean areas around your teeth you may tend to miss when brushing.
Pay your dentist at least once every six months.
Causes of Failing Implants
You also need to understand the risk factors of failing dental implants. The first signs of failure occur during the first three to four months after the procedure. Here are some reasons that cause implants to fail:
1. Autoimmune Diseases
If you have an autoimmune disease, there is a higher risk of your implants failing. Some of these diseases include Type 1 diabetes, lupus, multiple sclerosis, and rheumatoid arthritis.
2. Poor Blood Circulation
Poor blood circulation also affects dental implants. The surgical area needs an efficient blood supply for it to heal. If there is not enough blood and nutrients reaching the area, the healing will slow down.
In worst cases, the recovery comes to a halt.
3. Mechanical Issues
There is also the risk of mechanical damages on the implants. If you suffer an injury to the mouth, it may damage the implants.
Let Us Handle Your Dental Implants
Enjoying dependable full dental implants lie in several factors. One of the most important factors is finding the right dentist for the procedure.
We invite you to get in touch with us today. Simply contact us today to request an appointment. We will take a look at the condition of your teeth and explain your options in detail.
We can also help in your other dental concerns like oral hygiene, teeth whitening, and tooth extraction, among others.