Despite the many benefits dental implants offer, many patients are scared that the procedure will be painful or that it will take a long time to heal. But is that fear reasonable? Should it be enough to deter you from getting implants altogether?
Probably not. The good thing about implants is that you’ll only need to have them placed once. Even though it you might feel hesitant, mustering the courage to go through with the procedure is well worthwhile. Dental implants can last you a lifetime without ever needing to be replaced. Here a few things you need to know when preparing to have dental implants placed.
Where to Start?
Your first step when getting dental implants will always be book an appointment with a good prosthodontist. Choose your dentist carefully, not all dentists have the same amount of experience when it comes to placing implants. Your dentist should preferably have performed the procedure on many patients with a high success rate.
During the first appointment, you and your dentist can discuss the procedure. He or she might take dental X-rays or make molds of your mouth. After a thorough inspection, your dentist can put together a treatment plan so you’ll know exactly what to expect in your specific case.
Dental Implant Procedure – What Can I Expect?
Sometimes the next step is simply extracting the tooth you want to replace, but in some cases, bone grafting is required. To do this, bone will be moved from another part of your jaw, or even from other bodily bone tissues to where the implant will be. After bone grafting, you’ll wait a few months before implant surgery can be done.
During the implants surgery, your dentist will make use either local or intravenous anesthesia to completely numb the area. To place the implant deep enough into your jaw, your dentist will have to make an incision in your gums and drill a hole in the bone, the dental implant is then screwed into the hole. After surgery, you’ll have to rest for the remainder of the day.
You’ll need to wait some time after your implant surgery before getting the abutment and crown placed. The bone will need to start fusing onto the surface of the implant post and attach firmly to hold it in place. This process is called osseointergration. Once the implant post is firmly in place, you can finally return to your dentist to have the abutment and crown attached to it.
Will Getting Dental Implants Hurt?
To be honest, it may hurt a little. But many patients report that the pain they experience after the surgery is far less than they expected. For pain relief, your dentist will also probably prescribe an appropriate painkiller. Recovery also isn’t much of a concern. Most patients can go back to work within days after dental implant surgery and it’s not uncommon for patients to go back to work the very next day.
How Long Will the Procedure Take?
From start to finish, the procedure for getting a dental implant could take a few months, or even almost a year. It sounds like a rather long time to wait, but this isn’t a procedure you or your dentist should take lightly. Once the implant post is surgically implanted into your jaw, it will take many months before the surrounding bone tissue attaches firmly enough to support the implant.
Is Getting Dental Implants Risky?
Any surgery is a little risky, but getting dental implants isn’t at all considered a very risky procedure. Although rare, possible complications you could experience include:
- Post-surgical infection – Your dentist might take some preventative measures, but infections can still happen.
- Sinus issues – An implant in the upper jaw can be placed deep enough to enter a sinus cavity.
- Nerve damage – This can cause numbness or tingling feelings in your mouth.
- Damage to surrounding structures – Depending on the severity of the damage, this could cause serious problems.
While no dentist can guarantee that you won’t have any complications, you should aim to see a dental implant specialist. Prosthodontists are dentists that specialize in the use of dental prosthetics. After dental school, prosthodontists complete an additional three to four years of dental training before being qualified to practice as dental specialists. If would like to see a prosthodontist about getting dental implants, feel free to book an appointment with Dr. Stone. Dr. Stone is a prosthodontist and with more than thirty years’ experience placing dental implants. When it comes to getting dental implants, you can be sure you’re in good hands with Dr. Stone and his team.