Dental Implant Surgery: Know Everything About It

Dental Implant Surgery: Know Everything About It

Apr 01, 2023

Dental implants are excellent options for people with one or more missing teeth. Pioneered about 50 years ago, teeth implants are excellent alternatives to overdentures and dental implants. Unlike traditional dentures or bridges that rest above the gum line, dental implants are anchored into the jawbone, offering excellent strength, stability, and durability. This article highlights everything you should know about dental implant surgery.

What is a dental implant?

A dental implant is a dental device used to replace missing teeth. The implant often consists of a titanium or zirconium screw that’s implanted into the jawbone to replace the roots of the missing teeth. Later, a restoration crown is placed over the implant. The restoration is made to look, feel, and function like the outer crown of a natural tooth.

While effective, it’s worth noting that not everyone is eligible for dental implants. Poor oral hygiene practices, chronic health problems, smoking, gum disease, and jawbone loss can disqualify you for dental implant surgery. Children are not eligible for dental implants since their bone structure isn’t fully developed. Visit our Longmont dental clinic near you to determine your eligibility for dental implants.

Dental Implant Surgery: What to Expect

Dental implants are placed through surgery. The dentist will numb you to prevent any discomfort throughout the treatment. The entire procedure of getting an implant typically involves the following steps:

  • Initial consultation

Before the implant surgery, the dentist will perform a comprehensive exam of your mouth and review your medical history to assess your eligibility for dental implants. The exam can include x-rays, digital scans, and impressions. You must have healthy gums and bone to qualify for dental implants.

  • Tooth extraction

If your natural tooth isn’t yet extracted, the dentist will remove the tooth. Surgical extraction may be necessary if the tooth is severely damaged. Based on the bone and gums’ condition, a dental implant can be placed immediately or after a few weeks. Replacing the tooth is vital to prevent significant jawbone loss.

  • Bone grafting

Enough jawbone density and volume are necessary for a successful dental implant surgery. An insufficient jawbone may not support the process of osseointegration and can increase the risk of implant failure and other complications.

Bone grafting surgery involves placing new bone tissues in the weakened or diseased jawbone to promote regeneration and new bone growth. After the procedure, you may have to wait 3 – 6 months to allow the bone to heal before getting an implant.

  • Placing the implant post

During the primary implant surgery, the dentist drills into the jawbone and places an implant post. The bone heals around the implant, completely bonding with it. This process is called osseointegration and can take 3 to 6 months. The dentist can place temporary restorations to protect the implant and cover the gap during this healing phase.

  • Placing the abutment

Once the implant has bonded with the jawbone completely, the dentist will place an abutment inside the gum line. The abutment connects the implant to the outer restoration. You may have to wait a few weeks for the gums to heal before placing the final restoration.

  • Placing the final restoration

The final process involves placing a dental crown over the implant. The crown is customized to match your natural teeth’ shape, size, and color. A bridge or denture can be the final restoration in cases of multiple missing teeth.

Dental Implant Surgery Aftercare

After your implant surgery, it’s normal to experience minor side effects like pain, soreness, and swelling around the implant site. Following your dentist’s aftercare instructions will help minimize the discomfort and promote faster healing. Some aftercare tips to keep in mind include:

  • Rest adequately. Avoid any strenuous activities like heavy lifting or bending. These activities can cause increased pressure around the implant, increasing discomfort and inflammation. Keep your head elevated when resting.
  • Cold therapy. Placing an ice pack on the cheek against the implant site can help minimize pain and swelling after dental implant surgery.
  • Take medication as prescribed. Your dentist can prescribe medication to manage pain and swelling and prevent infections. Ensure you take all the medication as directed to promote faster recovery.
  • Soft diet. After dental implant surgery, your mouth will be sore for the next few hours. Eating soft and cool foods is vital to avoid irritating or disturbing the surgical area. Avoid hard, chewy, crunchy, and acidic foods.
  • Maintain excellent oral hygiene. Be sure to brush gently around the implant.
  • Follow-Up appointment. Ensure you go for your follow-up appointments.

Are you interested in dental implants in Longmont?

For more information about dental implant treatment, contact Mertz Family Dentistry to schedule a consultation with our dentist in Longmont.

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