Whether you are one of those people who goes to the dentist religiously or you only go when you are in pain, chances are that at some point you are going to need more than a cavity filled. If your general or cosmetic dentist indicated to you that you need dental implants, there is no need to be scared. Getting them is a common procedure. In the US, over 5.5 million of these procedures are done each year.
Dental implants are artificial teeth that are made of titanium and ceramic. They are made to look like the other teeth in your mouth and they are fused to your jawbone. Not only do they stay put and look like real teeth, they never need to be replaced. Not only that, but no other teeth in your mouth are involved in the process and there is no embarrassing or annoying clicking noise that you will need to deal with.
When getting dental implants, your dentist will probably take several steps as you may need to build up your jawbone before the implantation can take place. Additionally, you also must be in good general health and have healthy gums in order to be considered a good candidate for this procedure. It is also recommended that you not be a smoker as it can cause you to lose the implant.
Whether you have the procedure done at a regular or cosmetic dentistry office, you will receive local anesthesia during each step of the process. However, once it wears off, you may experience some swelling and pain. You can take pain medication and you will be instructed to eat a diet of soft, cold food and lukewarm soups for a day or two.
Then, your bone and the implant fixture will need to go through a process called osseointegration. It can take anywhere from two through six months to complete as they need time to grow together. While this is taking place you may receive a temporary crown, bridge or denture in order to help you chew and talk.
During osseointegration, your gum tissue will be covering the implant and the dentist will need to add a healing collar. He or she will also need to take impressions so that your new tooth can be made. You will also have fixtures connected to the implants in order to create a secure attachment for your new teeth. Once all of this is finished, your dentist can then implant your new artificial tooth.
You need to be sure to brush all of your teeth at least twice a day. It is also important that you floss daily in order to keep your gum tissue healthy. You will need to be somewhat careful when cleaning around your implants. Also be sure to keep all of your dentist appointments, especially those where you will be getting professional cleanings. This will enable your dentist to keep an eye on all of your teeth, including implants.