What are dental implants, and what is a dental implant procedure? If you lose a tooth due to injury, your dentist may recommend a dental implant to replace the tooth.
If you’re nervous about dental procedures, we understand. For many people, the anxiety lessens the more they know about the treatment. If you’re one of those people, read on! (If it increases your anxiety, you may want to stop now).
The truth is, though, that you can relax a little. Like most dental treatments today, you will feel little or no pain during a dental implant procedure. Most people experience mild pain for one to three days afterwards, which can be easily managed with over-the-counter medications.
With that, let’s get to it!
What are Dental Implants?
Dental implants are artificial replacement teeth placed on a root of titanium metal. They are an alternative to crowns and bridges or dentures.
A dental implant procedure is a common treatment and one of the best options for replacing a missing tooth. They look, act and feel like natural teeth, and they don’t move around as removable dentures do. While bridges are permanent, in many cases crowns must be placed on either side of the gap created by missing teeth. That means you may be sacrificing healthy teeth to place the crown.
We discussed the benefits of dental implants in detail in our blog Make Your Smile New Again with Dental Implants.
What is Involved in a Dental Implant Procedure?
A dental implant procedure takes a few visits to your dentist’s office. It is a surgical procedure, so care is taken at each stage to ensure the work is completed correctly and safely.
Here’s what typically happens at each visit:
Initial Visit – X-rays and Examination
The first stage is for your dentist to take stock of the damage and determine if dental implants are right for you. You can discuss your options with the dentist. If you are in good health, have healthy gums and jaw, you may choose to go ahead with dental implants.
Dental Implant Procedure
First Stage of Treatment
During the first stage, the dentist places a titanium “root” or dental implant into your jawbone beneath the gum tissue, then stitches the tissue back in place.
Second Stage of Treatment
An “abutment” or post is fitted over the implant, and an artificial tooth is attached to the abutment. It may take a few visits to properly fit the artificial tooth and ensure your restored bite is comfortable.
In some cases, the two stages can be completed at the same time. It is common, however, for several months to pass between the first and second stage. This allows the gum tissue to fully heal and the implant to bond with the bone.
What About Pain?
Dental treatment has advanced a lot in the past few years. Patients are typically alert for the dental implant procedure. A local anesthetic means you should feel no sharp pain; however, you will likely feel pressure, and may feel some discomfort.
Your dentist may recommend additional sedation or general anesthesia in some cases. Talk to your dentist about your options for pain management.
You will likely feel some minor pain after the surgery, lasting a few days. There may be a little bleeding, jaw pain and swelling.
If needed, and if safe for you, pain should be easily managed with over-the-counter pain medication like acetaminophen (Tylenol) or ibuprofen (Advil). Ice packs can reduce swelling.
Your dentist will provide complete care instructions. Should the pain be greater than expected, or last longer than three days, follow up with your dentists’ office.
Looking for a Professional, Friendly Dentist in Waterdown? Try Cranberry Hill Dentistry!
Dr. Aaron Langdon, and his team of dental professionals, love to see your smile. We provide complete family dental services, including regular checkups and cleaning, braces, and dental surgery.
Feel free to contact our office to learn more about our dental implant procedure and dental services. You can call us at 905-689-9551, or complete the form below to send us an email.
Canadian Dental Association – Dental Implants – Replacing Missing Teeth: cda-adc.ca/en/oral_health/procedures/dental_implants