Many of our patients prefer dental implants when it comes to replacing missing teeth. Dental implants are surgically embedded into your jawbone by our West MI dentists to give you more stability than other tooth replacement options.
Here are some of the most frequently asked questions our dentists get about the dental implant procedure.
1) What Are Dental Implants?
A dental implant is a prosthetic tooth root made of titanium that is used to support a porcelain crown. Implants are permanent and will not shift when you eat or speak thanks to their surgical placement. If you have one or more missing teeth, our dentists may recommend dental implants to restore the appearance and function of your smile.
2) What Are the Benefits of Dental Implants?
Unlike other tooth replacement options,are anchored to your jawbone for long-lasting stability. This means that you’ll never have to worry about your dental implants moving like you would with dentures. With dental implants, you can eat all your favorite foods again!
Your jawbone needs pressure from tooth roots to stay healthy. Otherwise, missing teeth and tooth roots will cause your jawbone to deteriorate over time. Dental implants fix this problem by giving your jawbone tissue the stimulation it needs to stay healthy. Dental implants prevent jawbone deterioration, as well as further tooth loss.
There is also lower overall maintenance compared to dentures. Dental implants can be treated just like your natural teeth. This means all you need to do is brush your teeth at least twice a day and floss daily. No adhesives, adjustments, or hassle.
3) What Happens During the Dental Implant Procedure?
The entire dental implant process can take several months. Once our dentists have determined you are a candidate for, they’ll schedule the procedure. Assuming you don’t first require a bone graft, we’ll give you anesthesia before inserting the implant into your jawbone during your first appointment.
Over the next several months, the tooth implant will fuse to your jaw in a process called osseointegration. Our dentists will monitor your progress to make sure you’re healing properly. Once the implantation is complete, you’ll return to one of our West Michigan dental offices to have the crown placed over the implant. A porcelain crown is what gives you the look and function of a natural tooth.
4) Does Getting a Dental Implant Hurt?
During the dental implant procedure, you will have access to sedation and will not feel any pain. It’s normal to feel some discomfort as your mouth heals afterwards, though, especially in the first few days.
Our MI Smiles Dental team will talk you through your pain management options and will give you solutions to help minimize this discomfort. When in doubt, a cold compact applied to the outside of your mouth can be used to reduce pain and swelling.
Your pain should lessen in the days following your procedure. If you find that you’re still experiencing extreme discomfort after the first week, give one of our offices a call.
5) What Is the Recovery Process Like?
While recovering from dental implant surgery, you’ll need to make some adjustments to your diet and get plenty of rest. Try to eat soft foods that are easy to chew and avoid extreme temperatures.
You may experience some swelling and bleeding in the area in the days after your surgery. Bleeding can be managed by biting down on a piece of gauze. You will have to keep the area clean without irritating your sutures, so be gentle when brushing your teeth.
Try to avoid exercise or other strenuous activities in the days immediately following surgery. You should rest as much as possible to allow your body time to heal.
6) Am I a Candidate for the Dental Implant Procedure?
To be a candidate for the dental implant procedure, you must have healthy gum and jawbone tissue. However, if you don’t have sufficient jawbone tissue for the procedure, our dental implant dentists may recommend a bone graft.
7) How Long Do Dental Implants Last?
A tooth implant can last decades when given proper care. After the dental implant procedure, you’ll need to continue your daily oral hygiene routine by brushing your teeth at least twice a day. We also recommend flossing once a day to remove dental plaque hiding in between teeth and along the gum line.
If we find plaque and tartar buildup during your next appointment, we may recommend you add a fluoride mouthwash to your routine.
8) Can I Get More Than One Dental Implant?
Yes, we can replace more than one tooth with dental implants. In fact, if you have several missing teeth, our dentists may recommend dental implants to prevent jawbone deterioration and further tooth loss.
Ask Us About Tooth Replacement
You don’t have to have missing teeth forever. To prevent future movement of teeth, jawbone deterioration, and prolonged low confidence, we can place dental implants. To schedule an appointment with one of our dental implant dentists in West Michigan, call one of our five MI Smiles Dental locations.
This blog post has been updated.