Dental implant surgery is a fairly easy surgical procedure that inserts tiny metal screws into the jawbone to act as a tooth root for a tooth that is missing or has been damaged. The implant then holds an artificial tooth to replace the one that has been lost.
Dental implants offer a durable and long-lasting way to replace missing teeth and offer multiple benefits over other restorations, including:
- Better speech – ill-fitting dentures can move around in the mouth, causing you to sound as if you are mumbling or slurring when you speak
- Increased comfort – Implants are secured directly into the bone, so as the surrounding bone fuses to it, the implant becomes a part of your natural smile.
- Improved chewing ability – Eating in dentures can be difficult because they can move around, but implants make biting and chewing as natural as possible.
- Improved oral health – Implants ensure teeth can’t drift into the spot left by a missing tooth, thereby altering your bite. They also do not require work on surrounding teeth so your natural smile is kept intact.
- Increased durability – Implants are designed to last, and with proper care, they should last your lifetime.
How are implants placed?
Getting dental implants is an involved process, but one we know you will be happy with. After your custom treatment plan is created, our maxillofacial surgeons will place your implant. During the surgical procedure, our surgeons will place a small hole in your gum to expose the bone. Then, we drill a tiny hole in the bone to allow for the implant. The implant serves as your artificial tooth’s root, so we take great care to ensure the implant is placed deep in the bone to allow for maximum stability.
Once the implant is placed, you will wait while osseointegration happens. This is the process by which your jawbone will grow around and fuse to the implant. While this process takes several months, it is very important because it ensures the implant can provide the most solid and stable base for the artificial tooth to be attached.
Once the bone is ready, you’ll return to our offices to have an abutment placed on top of the implant. The abutment is the portion of the implant to which the artificial tooth is affixed.
Once your gums have healed completely, you’ll be ready for the tooth. A crown will be created to match your natural smile, and our experts will affix the crown to the abutment. The end result is a natural looking replacement that is stable and secure.
What should I expect after implant surgery?
You may experience some discomfort after implant surgery. Patients often experience:
- Swelling of the gums or face
- Bruising of the skin or gums
- Minor bleeding
These are normal after-surgery symptoms, and should go away very quickly. You can take over-the-counter pain medications to help relieve pain or discomfort.
To ensure the life of your implant, it is important to pay close attention to your oral care, stop harmful habits such as smoking, and maintain all regular appointments with our dentists.