What You Need to Know About Dental Implants
Everyone wants to have an attractive smile. They need perfectly white, perfectly straight teeth that look even and uniform as they fill the mouth. Nobody wants to have broken teeth or gaps in their smile.
If you do have gaps in your smile, you've probably considered getting bridges or crowns to fill the gap. But why not get something stronger and more permanent? If you get dental implants, they'll feel and function just like your natural teeth did. They even anchor into your jaw like natural teeth, making them sturdier and longer-lasting than other teeth replacement options.
Learn more about this dental prosthetic solution below.
What Dental Implants Are
When you get a dental implant, a dentist first installs a titanium screw in your jaw where your natural tooth used to sit. The titanium screw acts like a normal tooth root. Then the dentist caps the tooth with crown that looks and feels like the natural teeth around it.
Once you've recovered from the implant procedure, your new implants will feel just as comfortable as if they grew in your mouth. You'll have improved speech control, and you won't have trouble eating or smiling with confidence. And, just like natural teeth, if you take care of your implants properly, they can last a lifetime. They also support your jaw better than other options, which means your face shape will remain unchanged.
How Dentists Install Dental Implants
Dental implants bring a lot of benefits. However, make sure you feel comfortable with the procedure before you decide to get them. The procedure involves the following steps:
- You'll meet with your dentist, and he or she will assess your oral health. You'll have to have healthy gums and a healthy jaw bone before you can get implants.
- If necessary, you'll improve your oral health to the point where you can get an implant. You may have to get bone graft surgery in your jaw before it can support an implant.
- Once you've reached ideal oral health, your dentist will schedule for the implant placement appointment. He or she will give you a local anesthetic, cut through the gums in the target area, and screw the titanium implant into your jawbone.
- At this point, you'll have to wait for your gums and jawbone to heal before the procedure can continue. Healing time can take anywhere between two and six months-the time depends on your jawbone's health and hardiness. Avoid putting any stress on the area as it heals.
- Once you've healed, your dentist will make sure the implant integrated with the bone. He or she will then install an abutment and take a mould of the target area. The abutment and mould help him or her to create a naturally shaped crown for your mouth.
- After your dentist finishes making the crown, he or she will install it. You'll have to wait for another healing period, but after that, your implant will feel and function naturally.
How to Prepare for Dental Implants
During this procedure, the dentist does most of the work, but that doesn't mean you don't contribute to the implant's success. If you'd like to undergo this procedure, use the following preparatory steps to help it go smoothly:
- Quit smoking and excessive drinking as soon as you've had the initial evaluation. This will strengthen your body's immune system and healing capabilities.
- Stop taking any blood thinning medications unless directed by your dentist or doctor.
- Don't eat or drink for six hours before your implant placement appointment. This will reduce post-appointment nausea. However, make sure you stay especially hydrated the day before.
- Purchase soft foods to eat after the procedure. Prepare a resting area somewhere in your home as well.
- Arrange for someone to drive you to and from the procedure. The dentist will administer anesthesia, so you won't have the ability to drive for at least 24 hours afterward.
- Wear loose, comfortable clothing.
How to Ensure a Full Recovery
To boost your recovery further, take the following steps after your implant procedure:
- Take all the medications your dentist prescribes. This could include pain medications, antibiotics, and anti-swelling medications.
- Use ice packs to reduce swelling.
- Eat soft foods for 10-14 days afterward.
- Get plenty of rest for at least two days afterward. This means you should avoid going to work if at all possible. You'll heal better if you can get some rest. However, you can safely go back to work the day afterward if necessary.
- Maintain excellent oral hygiene, but exercise caution around the healing site.