There are many different tooth replacement options for patients in Georgetown, ranging from dentures to crowns to dental implants. Today, we’re going to focus on Georgetown dental implants and what you can expect.

There are many advantages to getting dental implants. They are long-lasting, comfortable, and realistic looking. Many patients are very satisfied with their dental implants after the process is complete.

However, you may have some questions or concerns beforehand. Do dental implants cause pain? How long does it take to recover?

We’re here to answer all these questions and more. Read on to learn about getting dental implants in Georgetown, KY.

What Are Dental Implants?

Dental implants are screw-shaped posts that function similarly to the roots of teeth. Barring rare exceptions, dental implants are surgically inserted into the jaw, where they can remain stable for over a decade.

After placing the dental implant, we may also attach an abutment that helps to secure the prosthesis in place, though this is not always necessary. Dental implants often support crowns but can also support bridges and even dentures. 

Signs You May Need Dental Implants

Currently, about 6% of Americans have dental implants and the procedure is becoming more common year after year. As we mentioned earlier, there are a few different tooth replacement options patients can consider. Signs that you need tooth replacement include:

  • One or more missing teeth
  • Infections that require tooth removal
  • One or more severely cracked or broken teeth

You may wonder if having a tooth pulled without replacing it is an option. We don’t suggest this approach, because those gaps can cause your teeth to shift, creating misalignments. Plus, missing teeth can contribute to trouble chewing and talking and may create cosmetic changes or insecurities. 

Why choose dental implants over other tooth replacement options? Dental implants are a great choice for anyone who is tired of dealing with dentures or removable bridges, which often have a loose fit and shift while eating and talking. Dental implants require minimal maintenance besides regular oral care such as brushing, flossing, and biannual dental cleanings. 

The Dental Implant Procedure

The first step is finding the right dentist in Georgetown for your oral care needs, including dental implants. Note that not all dentists offer implant surgery and may have to refer you to another specialist for the procedure. At Thompson Family and Implant Dentistry, you can expect the following steps from your dental implant procedure, which can take between five months and one year from start to finish.

Creating Oral Health

First, it’s important that we treat any other existing dental health issues. This can include things like gum disease, which can prevent the implants from fusing properly to your jawbone. We will also want to consider your full medical history to rule out any non-oral health conditions that require treatment in the near future. 

Many patients are ready to begin the dental implant process right away. However, we may need to create optimal conditions before we begin.

Pre-Implant Procedures

Some patients may require pre-implant procedures that are more directly related to their dental implants. For example, if you’re replacing a damaged or infected tooth, we will need to remove the tooth and give the area time to heal before we begin.

One of the most time-consuming procedures a patient may need is bone grafting. This occurs when the jaw bone is too worn down or weak to support the implant in its current state.

Dental Implant Placement

Once the gums, jaw, and overall oral health are deemed ready to proceed, you will undergo dental implant placement. We will use local anesthesia for this procedure, although general anesthesia is an option. 

During this step, the oral surgeon will cut open the gums and drill a small hole for the implant. The implant is inserted to serve as the root of the replacement tooth. External healing can take about a week, but the bone must fuse to implant, which can take about three to six months.

Artificial Tooth Placement

While your jawbone is fusing to the implant, we can provide a temporary crown to fill the gap between your teeth. Once the implant site heals, we can provide a longer-lasting solution.

For a single dental implant, patients receive a crown. If we are replacing multiple teeth, we will most likely install a bridge that requires fewer implants to replace more teeth. Once this final step is complete, you are done with the dental implant process and can enjoy your new smile!

FAQs About Georgetown Dental Implants

Patients often want to know about aftercare and more. Let’s take a look at a few questions you may still have about the dental implant process. 

Do Dental Implants Hurt?

You may experience some pain or soreness when the anesthesia wears off and may want to take a few days off of work or school to focus on recovery. You can manage this pain with medication and cold packs applied to the area for ten minutes at a time. Avoid hard foods until the pain subsides. 

Are There Risks?

There are very few risks associated with dental implants as long as you are an appropriate candidate. The overall dental implant failure rate is approximately 3%. If you experience excessive pain around a new dental implant or the implant is shifting in your gums, call us right away.

What Can I Expect from Recovery?

It takes several months for the jaw to fuse to the implant, but external recovery is much faster. By about two weeks, most patients can resume normal activities like brushing the implant site and eating solid food. There is no recovery time after artificial tooth replacement. 

Schedule Your Dental Implant Surgery Today

Our goal at Thomson Family Dental is to make dental implants more approachable for our patients. We hope this guide has given you insight into the purpose, process, and recovery you can expect when getting dental implants.

Are you looking for a dentist’s office in Georgetown that provides dental implant services? Dr. Thompson and Dr. Everidge are here to help. Schedule your dental implant consultation today.