Before, During & After a Dental Implant Procedure
If you are considering or have been recommended for dental implants, you probably have a number of questions about the solution and the procedure itself. In order to feel relaxed and calm about any dental treatment it is essential that you feel prepared. The best way of doing this is to understand exactly what the treatment is and what the procedure involves.
About dental implants
Dental implants have quite literally changed the face of restorative dentistry over the last few decades. The design and technology used means that as well as looking completely natural, dental implants are also the strongest and most durable of any type of dental restoration. An investment in dental implants could last you the duration of your lifetime.
Each single implant has three elements. These are:
- A titanium post. This is placed into the jaw bone and extends through and just above the gums. The bone and gum fuse to the titanium post, ensuring it remains permanently secured in place.
- A porcelain crown. This is the part of the implant that you can see. Each crown is color-matched to your existing teeth, as well as being custom-created in the same shape and size so that it looks completely natural.
- An abutment that connects the other two elements together.
While the surgery is invasive and can sound frightening or overwhelming for some patients, the tools and techniques used really are at the cutting edge of technology and the procedure is deemed incredibly safe and successful.
Before dental implant surgery
Before you can be approved for dental implant surgery, you will first need to have a consultation with your chosen implant dentist. This is because there is certain criteria that you will have to meet to be considered a good candidate. One of the most important things that will have to happen is a thorough assessment of the quality and density of your jaw bone. This is because, for the procedure to be successful, your jaw bone must be healthy and have sufficient density. If your jaw bone does not meet this standard, it may still be possible for you to have dental implants, but you may first need bone grafting. Your surgeon will speak to you about this at your consultation.
If you are approved for dental implant surgery, you will be scheduled a date for your procedure and your surgeon will talk to you about the details.
During dental implant surgery
Most dental implant surgeries are performed while the patient is either heavily sedated or put to sleep using general anesthetic. This ensures that you remain unaware, calm and completely still for the duration of the procedure.
The first part of dental implant surgery involves making a small hole into the bone of the jaw – a process called an osteotomy. This is followed by small incisions being made into the surrounding gum tissue so that the bone can be properly seen and accessed. If your surgeon has made a template for the placement of the implant, this will be inserted now and used to guide the location of the drilling. The drill is then used to create a space for the implant to sit.
Once the hole for the implant has been sufficiently drilled out, the implants can be placed into the space left. Each post will protrude slightly above the gums. These soft tissues can then be stitched, closing any wounds and leaving the implant post securely inside. Almost immediately, osseointegration – the process of the post fusing with the jaw bone – will begin.
You may be fitted with temporary dentures or implants at this point, as unless you are having Teeth Next Day, your final teeth will not be ready.
After dental implant surgery
It can take a number of months for your jaw and gums to heal properly around the implant post. This means that in many cases, it will be some time before your final smile is ready.
Initially after your surgery you will probably be in some discomfort, and your surgeon should provide pain medications to give you some relief. Swelling is also common. You will probably find that you want to stick to a liquid and/or very soft diet for at least a week. Our dental implant surgeon will advise you which foods are recommended immediately after your surgery, and which are to be avoided.
It is essential that you follow any aftercare instructions that you are given with regards to cleaning your new implant, and if you are given antibiotics, complete the course as directed.
Once osseointegration is complete and your implant posts are completely secure, our dentist will place your final, custom-designed porcelain crowns. These will blend seamlessly with your natural teeth, ensuring that your new smile looks and feels simply stunning.
For more information, feel free to contact us and our knowledgeable team will gladly help you.