Dental implants replace broken, cracked or decayed teeth with new, natural-looking, artificial ones. To make the new teeth stay in place, a titanium post is surgically implanted into the bone structure of your jaw. After that, the dentist bonds the acrylic artificial tooth or teeth to the post.
If all that sounds complicated (or painful), you should know that dental implant procedures are a highly popular option for patients who might otherwise need dentures or bridgework.
The procedure is designed to be as pain-free as possible, the healing process is carefully monitored. When properly maintained, your new teeth will last for years, and you will avoid the bothersome tasks associated with removable bridgework.
Preparing for a Dental Implant
Getting ready for a dental implants procedure begins with a consultation and examination. Bring along a list of the prescription medications you currently take, and let the doctor know if you have a health condition (like a heart murmur) that may require you to take antibiotics before the procedure.
You’ll also need to meet some basic physical requirements for a dental implant, including:
- having sufficient bone in your jaw (as determined by an x-ray) to support a dental post;
- having a jawbone that’s fully grown – though this is not typically an issue for most adults; and
- having healthy oral tissue
I am happy to recommend Dr. Stone. He is the best dentist of many I have endured. He is honest, wise, charming, his advice is always thoughtful and right. My implants are wonderful!”
-Marion G. Wells, August 10, 2014
Having the Dental Implant Procedure
The day of your dental implants procedure might start with some direction from your dentist about eating or drinking prior to getting anesthesia.
- Depending on your general health and condition, you might have local anesthesia (numbing the area being worked on while you stay awake) or general anesthesia (being unconscious during the surgery).
- If you are having general anesthesia, you will need to have someone drive you to and from the clinic that day.
The complete procedure involves the dentist first removing the damaged tooth or teeth; then preparing the jawbone for surgery; affixing the post to the bone; and attaching the artificial teeth permanently to the post. The complete procedure can take several months, with much of the time devoted to proper healing.
Recovery from a Dental Implant Procedure
Every dental implants procedure involves surgery, which means you will experience some post-surgical side effects. The most common are swelling around the gums, bruising around the surgical area, soreness or minor bleeding.
Your dental team will work with you to alleviate these side effects and keep you as comfortable as possible during recovery.
Dental Implants in One Day
It’s possible to get dental implants and leave with new teeth the same day. This kind of “dental implants in one day” procedure starts with a temporary restoration.
The first day, you have x-rays taken to determine if your bone structure will support the metal posts. Then, you are anesthetized, the posts are put into place and a set of realistic-looking dentures is screwed onto the implants. In about 6 months, after your jaw has fully healed, you’ll return to have your temporary implants removed and the permanent implants placed.
If you are considering dental implants in Ft. Lauderdale, we encourage you to review Dr. Stone’s education, experience, and reviews and before and after gallery. Dr. Stone has 30 years of experience as a cosmetic dentist and he teached other dentists how to place dental implants. His clinic includes an onsite laboratory to more quickly and effectively create your new implants.