Many of our patients prefer dental implants to replace missing teeth. Dental implants are embedded in your jawbone to give you more stability than other tooth replacement options. Continue reading to learn the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions our dentists get about the dental implant procedure.
What are dental implants?
A dental implant is a prosthetic tooth root (typically made of titanium) used to anchor a porcelain crown. If you have missing teeth, your dentist may recommend dental implants to restore the appearance and function of your smile.
What are the benefits of dental implants?
Unlike other tooth replacement options, dental implants 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’ll be able to eat all your favorite foods again.
Your jawbone needs pressure from tooth roots in order 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.
What happens during the dental implant procedure?
The dental implant process takes several months. Once your dentist has determined you are a candidate for dental implant surgery, they’ll schedule the procedure. During your first appointment with us, we’ll give you anesthesia before inserting the implant into your jawbone.
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 our office to have the porcelain crown placed over the implant. A dental implant crown gives you the look and function of a natural tooth.
Do dental implants 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 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 our office a call.
What is the recovery process like?
While recovering from dental implant surgery, you’ll need to make some adjustments to your diet and be sure to get lots 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.
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, your dental implant dentist may recommend a bone graft.
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 routine oral hygiene routine by brushing your teeth twice a day. We also recommend flossing once daily 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 daily routine.
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, your dentist may recommend dental implants to prevent jawbone deterioration and further tooth loss.
Ready to Make an Appointment?
MI Smiles Dental is accepting new patients! We offer a range of services so you can restore teeth, improve oral health, and never hide your smile again. To schedule an appointment with one of our cosmetic dentists in West Michigan, call (616) 974-4990. We look forward to hearing from you!