Dental implants are a procedure that can be lengthy and the timeline may vary depending on the patient. Listed below you will find some steps that are typical of a dental implant procedure.
Implants are composed of three parts. The implant is a screw-shaped metallic post that is introduced into the jawbone and fuses with it. The abutment is a piece that unifies the implant and the crown. And the crown, the visible part of the whole implant.
During the surgery, the implant is placed in your jawbone, where it osseointegrates giving support to your new “tooth”. In some cases, bone grafting may be needed, and it is done some months before the implant placing. After a couple of months, when the post has fused with the bone, the abutment and the crown are placed. It isn’t a painful surgery since it is done under general anesthesia or IV sedation.
The whole process starts with an appointment with your dentist. In this consultation, he or she will check your mouth health, your medical record and they will take dental X-rays. Here is when the doctor will decide if you are a good candidate to get dental implants, and if you are, set a procedure plan. This plan varies from patient to patient depending on the oral health, if there are pre-existing conditions (such as diabetes or cancer, which could affect the healing process), and the jaw condition.
In some cases, the dentist will prescribe antibiotics before the surgery to act as a substitute immune system to avoid a possible early implant failure. This is in specific cases where there might be a medical condition that might affect the process. Also, you could be asked to rinse your mouth with an antibacterial mouthwash.
The jawbone is a key part of the whole procedure since the metallic post will osseointegrate with the bone. That is the reason why if there is not enough bone, or it isn’t hard enough, it won’t be capable to support the implant and bone grafting is needed. To do it, dentists use bone from another area of the body or a synthetic material.
Sometimes when minor bone grafting is needed, it is made the same day of the implant surgery. But if it is not the case, the patient will have to wait some months until the bone is hard and strong enough.
Days before the surgery it is recommended to have lighten up your schedule so that you can have some days to rest. The patient should get all the necessary medication and get stocked with soft and cold food for the days after the surgery, take two days off work and social plans, and stop exercising.
And in case your surgery takes place with IV, it is extremely necessary for someone to take you home after the procedure and stay with you as needed.
After the surgery, it is common for the patient to feel some pain, such as swelling and bleeding, minor bruising, and discomfort during the first days. Your dentist might prescribe you some pain medication.
Instructions on how to proceed during this postoperative period will be given to the patient.
- Avoid tough, crunchy or sticky food.
- Leave yourself a few days after the surgery to rest.
- Take care of your implant as you do with your real teeth. This means brushing and flossing at least twice a day.
- Do not spit, smoke, or use straws.
- Use an antibacterial mouthwash.
These recommendations will help you avoid infections, bone loss and much more situations that could lead to an early dental implant failure.
Even though the process is long and requires multiple appointments, and in some cases interventions, it is totally worth it. The benefits dental implants bring to their users have been proven to be a lot. Take a moment to schedule a consultation with a local dentist to learn more about how to proceed to get a dental implant in Brownston, MI.