So, you’ve made an appointment for your Georgetown dental implants. And that has left you thinking, “…Now what?”
You’re not the only one who has had questions about dental implant surgery. Three million Americans have already had implants, according to the American Academy of Implant Dentistry. And each year, half a million more will have the same procedure.
If you’re getting your dental implants with us, don’t worry — you’re in good hands. But let’s go over what you can expect from the dental implant procedure, whichever dentist office in Georgetown you go to.
What Are Dental Implants?
Before we get into the specifics of your dental implant surgery, let’s go over what implants actually are.
A dental implant is an artificial tooth root, which bonds to the bone in your jaw. This makes a very sturdy base for crowns, which dentists put in your mouth to replace missing teeth. Crowns can be made to match the color and size of your teeth, so you won’t need any further cosmetic procedures to fix your smile post-dental implant procedure.
Dental implants are the best way to replace missing teeth. They are sturdy, and they can last for decades. Plus, you can bite down and use your teeth as you would normally.
Is There Prep for My Dental Implant Surgery?
Some patients’ dental implant procedures will begin long before the actual surgery. The dentist may have to remove the damaged tooth beforehand. Once this happens, it can take weeks to heal.
Post-extraction, the dentist will give you instructions on how to help your mouth properly heal. Be sure to follow these closely, as you could suffer from painful side effects, such as a dry socket.
You may also need a bone graft procedure or bone regeneration to ensure that your dental implant has a strong enough base on which to stand. Again, your dentist will be able to tell you if you need either one of these treatments. And, if you do, it can take six to eight weeks for your mouth to heal and fortify itself before the dental implant procedure can actually take place.
What Happens During My Dental Implant Surgery?
Once your teeth and/or jaw are ready, your dentist will schedule the dental implant surgery. You will be under anesthesia, or you will be sedated during the procedure. It all begins with a small incision in the gums in the spot where you will get your implant.
This hole will give the dentist access to the jawbone, where they will drill a hole and affix the implant, which should be made of titanium. After that, the procedure is finished — but the road to recovery won’t end there.
For starters, you won’t be able to drive yourself home after your procedure, nor will you be able to work or resume your normal activities. You will be coming out from sedation, so you will need to rest and relax.
Most people will experience pain post-procedure, as well as swelling and bruising. Some will have bleeding and pain — and dentists will prescribe painkillers if necessary. And you should avoid hard foods, too, so they don’t damage or hurt your healing gumline, either.
It can take months for the implant to heal, but it is an amazing process as it does. The bone will heal around the titanium rod, which fuses it with the bone and makes it as strong as it needs to be.
If your new dental implant is in the back of your mouth, you may not have a temporary tooth in place while the area heals. However, if you need an implant in the center of your smile, your dentist can put a faux tooth in its place. You will just have to take it out and clean it nightly, just like dentures.
The Second Part of the Procedure
In some cases, there’s a second procedure required to mount a crown onto your implant. This one requires only local anesthesia, although it is also a surgical step.
During this procedure, the dentist places an abutment on top of the implant, and this will hold the crown in place. Some dentists may place the abutment at the same time as the implant. However, this tiny element is visible, because it sits above the gum line, and some patients don’t want a visible piece of metal in their mouths before the crown is attached.
After the abutment is applied, it takes a further two weeks for your mouth to heal before you can get your implant put in place. It will be a busy couple of weeks, though. Your dentist will take an impression of your mouth to make sure your new tooth fits and looks as natural as possible.
When that tooth is created, there’s one final step: placing the crown onto the post. Again, your dentist will give you instructions to ensure you care for your new tooth properly. Be sure to follow them as you get used to this new dental implant and the way it looks and feels.
Where Should I Get My Georgetown Dental Implants?
With this information in mind, you are ready for your procedure — and you only have to figure out where you’ll get your Georgetown dental implants. The team at Thompson Family & Implant Dentistry specializes in implant procedures, as well as cosmetic and routine care for your smile.
Click here to contact us today. We can tell you more about dental implant surgery and prepare you for the procedure that will change your smile forever.