Dental implants are an excellent prosthetic option to replace missing teeth. The team at Pinole Oral Surgery, in Pinole, California, provides natural-looking dental implants to restore your smile and support healthy bone development in your jaw. Call or schedule an appointment online today to find out if dental implants are right for you.
WHAT ARE DENTAL IMPLANTS?
Oral surgeons have been using dental implants to replace missing adult teeth for over 30 years. A dental implant is a prosthetic tooth that looks and acts just like a natural tooth. An implant includes a titanium post that your oral surgeon places in your jaw, a dental crown that’s custom-made to match your remaining natural teeth, and an abutment that attaches the two pieces.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF DENTAL IMPLANTS?
Dental implants offer a wide range of benefits. One of the most important advantages is that dental implants provide a natural-looking and feeling smile. Each dental implant is custom-made to match your remaining natural teeth. They’re also extremely durable and can last a lifetime with proper care.
Additionally, the titanium post acts as a tooth root. Not only does it support the rest of the implant, but the post also stimulates healthy bone growth and development in your jaw. This helps your jaw remain a sturdy foundation for the rest of your teeth and maintains your facial shape and structure.
Dental implants are also easy to maintain. You simply brush and floss them like your regular teeth. While implants are resistant to decay, you still need to have routine dental exams so your dentist can monitor the health of your gums, jaw, and any remaining natural teeth.
WHAT’S THE PROCESS OF GETTING DENTAL IMPLANTS?
There are several stages in the dental implant process. Your first step is a consultation and exam. Your surgeon takes X-rays to ensure your jaw is strong enough to support a dental implant. If necessary, they can provide a bone graft to strengthen your jawbone.
When your surgeon is satisfied that your jaw can support implants, they begin the implantation process. Your surgeon implants the titanium posts into your jaw during an outpatient procedure. Then, you wait for your implants to bond with your jawbone in a process called osseointegration.
After approximately six months, you have a follow-up appointment with your surgeon to check your implants and apply the abutments. At this point, your surgeon refers you back to your regular dentist for your crown fitting.
IS RECOVERY AFTER DENTAL IMPLANTS PAINFUL?
You can be sure that you won’t feel a thing through the implant stage of surgery. A local anaesthetic will be used to block the pain and a sedation can be used to help you feel relaxed through the entire procedure.
After the surgery there may be some residual bleeding that can be taken care of by biting down on a gauze. This will help control the bleeding and encourage a clot to form which will protect the area. After the anaesthetic has worn off your mouth may feel tender for a day or two. You may receive pain medication from your surgeon or perhaps your surgeon will suggest NSAID pain relievers, such as ibuprofen or aspirin, to control the pain and swelling. Antibiotics may also be prescribed in some cases. This will help limit any possibilities of the surgical site getting infected.
During recovery you will need to protect the blood clot from becoming dislodged so that bleeding doesn’t start again. Avoid heavy rinsing of the mouth. Also try to eat soft foods until your mouth is feeling better.
You may want to take a day or two off work or school to recover but after that you should feel back to normal and the pain should have subsided. After a few weeks the surgical site should have completely healed.
What are dental implants made of?
The structural support of the dental implant is made of titanium. This material has unique properties that allow it to bond with the bone. The crown is usually made of porcelain.