Dental Implants: Everything You Need to Know

 

a blonde woman smiling while she receives dental implants

Dental implant surgery is a procedure performed by an oral surgeon or periodontist to replace damaged or missing teeth. Metal rods are surgically fused into the jawbone to act as an anchor for artificial teeth. These teeth look and function much like real ones. Dental implant surgery can offer a more permanent alternative to dentures or bridgework. Unlike fixed bridges which may need to be replaced every 25 years, implants are more durable and rarely need to be replaced.

When Are Implants Needed

When it comes to implants, dental implants serve both aesthetic and functional purposes. When teeth become infected or need to be removed, dental implants help maintain your jaw structure. Dental implants are surgically placed in your jawbone and fused with titanium to prevent the implant from slipping. Less permanent implants like dentures or bridges can make noise or cause damage to other teeth. Restoring practical use to your mouth is the main goal, but dental implants also serve to restore confidence. Permanent implants can be matched with artificial teeth made special for your smile.

Types of Dental Implants

How dental implant surgery is performed depends on the type of implant and the condition of your jawbone. There are two main types of dental implants used today – endosteal and subperiosteal. Endosteal implants are the most commonly used and are placed directly into the bone. Subperiosteal implants are used for patients with inadequate bone height or cannot wear traditional dentures. Dental implant surgery may involve several procedures for the bone to heal tightly around the implant. Because these surgeries require interim healing time, the whole process can take months to complete.

Advantages of Dental Implants

Implants do not slip or shift, providing you the same stability and security as natural teeth. This helps to preserve the jawbone and the contour of your face. There is no need to remove your implants for cleaning or soaking since implants can be brushed like natural teeth. Implants do not rely on neighboring teeth for support, unlike bridges that cause tooth structure damage. Dental implants allow you to chew and speak with ease again, making them an ideal solution for missing teeth.

Dental Implant Candidacy

Ideal candidates for dental implants have healthy gums, enough bone to support the implant, and good overall health. However, if your jawbone is not currently the right height or strong enough to adequately support an implant, minor bone grafting surgeries can build up your jaw prior to implant surgery. Keep in mind this is one of the reasons dental implant surgery can take many months to successfully complete. Chronic illnesses like diabetes, leukemia, and smoking can also interfere with the healing process of an implant. Potential candidates should do their research before committing to this several-month long process

Potential Risks of Implant Surgery

As with any surgery, dental implant surgery may pose some health risks. Complications rarely occur and are typically minor and easily treated. Potential risks to be aware of include infection, sinus problems, and injury or damage to other teeth, blood vessels, or nerves.

Prepare For Surgery

Dental implant surgery is a multi-surgical procedure that requires various checkpoints to continue to the next step. To ensure everything goes smoothly, a comprehensive dental exam is conducted to map out a personal treatment plan. This plan takes into account factors such as the condition of your jawbone and how many teeth you need to have replaced. Depending on the individual needs of a patient, a variety of dental specialists maybe be called in for opinions.

Dental Implant Surgery Walkthrough

Dental implant surgery is usually performed in stages to ensure the base of the implant will be stable. After your damaged tooth is removed, your jawbone is prepared for surgery as needed. If this preparation involves bone grafting, it may be another couple of months before the implant surgery date is scheduled. On the day of your implant surgery, the oral surgeon will make an incision to cut open your gum and expose the healed bone. Since the post will serve as the tooth root, holes are drilled deep into the bone where the implant’s metal post will be placed. The surgeon then places the abutment, an extension of the implant’s metal post that will attach to the artificial tooth.

After placed, another recovery period of several months is needed to establish a firm foundation before fitting the artificial tooth. After your mouth has healed, your dentist will use molds of your teeth and jawbone to later place the final tooth or teeth. This lengthy process can take many months from start to finish, much of which is devoted to healing of new bone in your jaw.

Recovery From Surgery

Much of the interim time between surgeries is designated for healing. Some of the typical discomforts associated during this time include swelling or bruising of your face and gums, pain at the implant site, and minor bleeding. If any of these problems persist for more than a few days following surgery, contact your oral surgeon as there may be an issue. During this time, your doctor may suggest a diet acceptable soft foods that will not disturb your healing. Pain medication and antibiotics may be prescribed for “high-risk patients” to combat swelling and pain if needed. Surgeons typically use stitches that dissolve on their own but a follow-up appointment may be requested.

Dental Implant Surgery in PA

Oral surgery has been helping patients regain function and confidence with their smile and bite for decades. Over the years, modern surgical advancements have provided dentists and periodontists more successful and long-term solutions for millions of Americans. One advancement in particular is changing the way dental implant surgery is done. All-on-4 implant surgery is a minimally invasive procedure that has been proven as a long-term dental solution. To learn more about All-on-4’s breakthrough method, give us a call at 610-865-8077. Our fantastic team of doctors and staff are always happy to assist new patients with their oral and maxillofacial needs. Do not delay scheduling your appointment with us today!

2018-11-12T19:48:54+00:00