More than 120 million people in the United States are missing at least one tooth, if not more. Missing even one tooth can be quite problematic for your dental health, but that’s why dental implant specialists exist. Dental implants can improve your dental health as well as your confidence in your smile. 

But if you’re thinking about getting dental implants, you might be wondering what you should expect when you go to see an implant specialist. You might also be wondering about what the dental implant procedure and recovery might be like. Keep reading and learn more about the entire process below.

All About Meeting With Dental Implant Specialists

Before you get your dental implants, you will first need to make an appointment for an initial consultation. The consultation is important because it will allow you to ask the dentist some questions about the procedure and the dental implants themselves. The dentist will also have the chance to ask you some questions concerning your dental health and overall health.

That way, the specialist will know whether or not you’re a good candidate for dental implant surgery. Your dentist will likely take some scans of your teeth and jaw to see if there are any problems that may interfere with the dental implant process. For example, if your dentist finds that you currently have a tooth infection or gum disease, you will need to get these problems treated before you can get any dental implants. 

Also, if the dentist finds that your jawbone is very thin or weak, you may need a bone graft before you can get the implants. This is because implants need to be drilled into your jawbone and the bone acts as an anchor for the implants. If your jawbone is too thin or weak, it won’t make a very good foundation for the implants. 

The Details

More than that, the implants might even damage your jawbone if it is too fragile. A bone graft involves taking bone from a different part of your body and grafting it to the weak part of your jaw. After the graft heals, your jaw should be much stronger and should be a good foundation for dental implants. 

Your dentist may also prescribe you some antibiotics to take before the procedure even begins. This will help prevent infection after the procedure. During the initial consultation, you can also ask your dentist about pain relief. 

The dentist can control your discomfort in different ways. General anesthesia may be a good option. This is when you are rendered unconscious for the procedure. 

It is a particularly good option if you are very anxious about the procedure. There is also local anesthesia. You will stay awake for the procedure but will not be able to feel any pain. There is also sedation which is when you may drift in and out of consciousness and will be unaware of any pain. 

Be sure to tell the specialist what options you are and aren’t comfortable with. 

About the Dental Implant Procedure

The first part of the dental implant procedure is quite invasive. It involves cutting through the gumline to reach the jawbone. If the roots from your lost tooth are still present, your dentist will need to remove them. 

Then, the specialist will drill a hole in your jawbone to place a metal post into. The metal post will be the foundation of the entire dental implant. It is usually made of titanium or surgical steel so that it is not irritating to the human body in most people (although very few people are allergic to titanium). After the first part of the implant is installed, you will need to wait quite a while, likely a few weeks, for it to heal. 

Over time, your jawbone will start to grow around the metal post. At a certain point, the bone will latch onto the metal post and solidify it in place so that it will be virtually impossible for the post to wiggle around or come loose. Once the healing stage is over, you will need to go back to the dental implant specialist to receive the next piece of the implant: the abutment. 

What You Need to Know

The abutment is a very small piece designed to sit between the metal post and the dental crown (which is the part of the implant that looks like a real tooth). The abutment’s main purpose is to act as a buffer between the post and the dental crown so they don’t damage each other. The final part of the implant is the dental crown. 

The dental crown will be specially designed so that its color and shape match the rest of your teeth. That way, it will look as realistic as possible. Most people won’t even be able to tell that your dental implant is any different from your real teeth. 

The dental crown is usually made out of porcelain or ceramic. These materials are known to be quite durable and besides that, they look a lot like real tooth enamel. After that, your implant will be completely installed and you will be able to enjoy your life with a full set of teeth again. 

All About Getting Dental Implants

Getting dental implants doesn’t have to be complicated as long as you have good dental implant specialists on your side. With the right treatment plan, getting a dental implant or two shouldn’t be a problem and these implants can drastically improve your dental health and your confidence. 

To learn more about it, contact us here