Preparing for Dental Implant Procedure
Ahead of the implant placement, patients can do the following to make the process as seamless as possible:
- Use any prescribed antibiotics.
- Clean your mouth with an antibacterial dental rinse.
- Arrange for transportation home after the procedure as you may not be fit to drive.
- Clear your schedule for the day. While you may not be in pain after the procedure, resting afterward will provide need relief.
- Prepare soft foods ahead so you will not have to worry about making foods after the procedure. Great food options include soups, smoothies, and pasta.
- Take headphones along so you can listen to your favorite music. This will serve as a distraction throughout the process.
Placing the Dental Implant
During the procedure, the dentist will make an incision over the gums to reveal the bone. They will put the implant post at the site of the lost tooth. Although every patient is different, most people discover that the discomfort is less than they anticipated. Over-the-counter painkillers are usually enough to manage pain after the procedure.
After the implant placement, there will be a gap at the site of tooth loss. The dentist may place a temporary implant for cosmetic purposes, if necessary. Osseointegration starts immediately and could take several months because the jawbone must integrate with the dental implant to serve as a sturdy foundation of the new artificial tooth.
Placing the Abutment
After osseointegration is over, the dentist will place the abutment, which is the piece that connects the crown to the implant. The procedure is done on an outpatient basis and takes about an hour. It is also possible to place the abutment immediately after implantation. After placing the abutment, the gum will need some time to heal before attaching the crown.
How to Choose the New Artificial Teeth
After the gums heal, the dentist will take additional impressions of the teeth and oral cavity, which will be used to fabricate the new artificial tooth. Patients can decide between fixed and removable tooth prostheses. Removable artificial teeth attach to a metal frame held by the abutment and snap firmly into place. It can be removed easily for routine cleaning and repairs.
A fixed dental prosthesis is screwed or cemented permanently onto the abutment. The prosthesis can only be taken out by a dentist.
Aftercare and Recovery
After the procedure, patients may need to use pain meds and antibiotics to relieve pain and fight infections. If discomfort, swelling, or other symptoms worsen following the procedure, the patient needs to contact the dentist as soon as possible. Until the stitches heal, it is advisable to stick to a diet of soft foods.
Excellent oral hygiene is essential to prolong the lifetime of dental restoration. This includes brushing and flossing regularly, going to the dentist for cleaning and checkup, and avoiding harmful oral habits such as smoking or chewing hard substances.
Dental implants help to prevent the resorption of osseous tissues by providing the stimulation needed to keep the jawbone alive and healthy. By filling the gap left by a lost tooth, implants prevent other teeth from shifting out of place.
The dental implant procedure is safe, but like any other dental procedure, it has its risks. Typically, dental implants have a success rate of up to 95 percent, but the success depends on factors such as the patient, the dentist, the techniques used, and the number of implants involved. When done by an experienced dentist, the risks of the procedure are minimal.
To learn more about the dental implant procedure, call our office at (310) 286-9655 to request an appointment.