Dental implants are an effective and popular way to replace missing teeth. They are artificial teeth roots dentists place into your jaw to hold a bridge or replacement tooth. They’re made to blend in naturally with your other teeth. They could be an option for you if you lost a tooth or teeth as a result of an injury, periodontal disease or another reason.
It’s always good to know exactly what the pros and cons are to a procedure before you jump into it head first, so we’re going to lay out a couple of points here and list a few advantages and disadvantages of getting dental implants.
And the cons? Well, to be honest, there really aren’t any! The procedure itself involves very little discomfort and with the use of local anesthesia most patients have stated that getting implants is less painful than having a tooth pulled. There is a soreness that sets in for about a day after receiving implants, but this is not very intense and can be easily treated with most over-the-counter pain medication.
Dental implant placement usually involves the following steps:
Your implant dentist will thoroughly examine your mouth, including taking X-rays or 3D images, discuss the various implant options and develop a plan for your implant surgery.
At your next scheduled appointment, your implant dentist will place the dental implant in your jawbone where your tooth is missing. Although each patient’s experience is unique, most people find they experience less pain and discomfort than they expect, and typically return to work the next day. Local anesthesia or IV sedation can be used to keep you comfortable, depending on the procedure. Post-implant surgery discomfort is similar to that of any other dental surgery. It may include swelling, bruising, minor bleeding and/or pain, but most patients usually manage any pain with over-the-counter medications.
As you heal, your implant and jawbone will grow together in a process called osseointegration (os-e-o-in-tuh-GRAY-shun), forming a strong, long-lasting foundation for your replacement teeth. During this healing process, which can take up to a few months, you go on with your normal life. You will be on a soft food diet for the first few weeks to make sure your implants heal properly. In some cases, your implant dentist may also be able to place temporary teeth during this period, if you choose.
Once your implant bonds with your jawbone, a small connector – called an abutment – is placed on the dental implant just above the gumline. In some cases, the abutment can be placed at the same time as the implant.
After your gums heal, your dental implant dentist will make impressions of your mouth and remaining teeth to custom-make your artificial teeth. These teeth – which can be an individual crown, implant-supported bridge or dentures containing multiple replacement teeth – will be attached to the abutment. Although they don’t decay, your new teeth will need the same routine care, checkups and cleanings as your natural teeth.
Depending on the number and type of implants and replacement teeth you receive, the entire process can take three to nine months. After your dental implant placement is finished, you’ll visit your dental implant dentist periodically for follow-up checkups, just as you do your regular dentist.
Now that you know the dental implant procedure steps, you want to understand the factors determining how long your implant procedure will take, including:
Can dental implants last forever? In other words, how long do dental implants last? Unlike your natural teeth, implants aren’t vulnerable to dental disease like decay, but your gum health is essential for maintaining lasting dental implant success. Caring for dental implants through routine professional cleanings, dental check-ups and conscientious home care are key to dental implant sustainability. Every individual is different, however. The success of your dental implants will rely on planning and diagnosis, your medical history and lifestyle choices during your healing.
Some things you can do to protect your remaining natural teeth and help your dental work are:
Though it’s unlikely, there’s always a chance something can go wrong during the surgery or healing. See your dentist if:
• Your body rejects the dental implant
• You get an infection in your gums or the bone
• Your dental implant falls off or doesn’t adhere to the bone
• You suffer from bone loss
There are common complications that are normal during the healing process.
This includes swelling, pain, and numbness around the dental implant area and even on the gums and your whole mouth. Contact your dentist if any of these issues persist.
We are dedicated to providing comprehensive oral health treatment to all our patients. Our team, led by Dr. Tafreshi, believes that a solid doctor-patient relationship is built on mutual trust and respect. We work closely with each patient to establish a lifelong partnership and provide personalized treatment plans. We want you to feel empowered in making decisions about your oral health. Don't let dental care be a luxury out of reach; we believe a beautiful smile is easily achievable for everyone. Schedule an appointment today, and let us help you achieve your dental goals.
15 Mareblu Suite #360, Aliso Viejo, CA 92656