Not everyone is fortunate enough to keep all of their teeth throughout their life. Luckily, there are options available for people who have lost or chipped a single tooth, and want a perfect replacement without having to go all the way and submit to having dentures.
Getting dental implants is the simplest answer to replacing a lost or otherwise imperfect tooth. It involves a surgical procedure that culminates with a seamless prosthetic being put into place that looks and functions just like a real tooth. The procedure itself is relatively simple, but requires diligence on the part of the surgeon. Some steps need to be taken before, during, and after the procedure, and if these steps aren’t adhered to fully, there’s a higher risk of complications.
Let’s run through the whole procedure quickly and where complications may occur:
Before the surgery takes place, the dental practice has to know the area in which they will be working. To adequately do this, X-rays of the patient’s jaw will be ordered, so give the entire dental staff an idea of what obstacles they will face during the procedure itself. What’s being looked for primarily is where any nerves may be and if they will pose a problem during the procedure itself. Once this step is complete and the staff is confident with their plan of action, the surgery will be scheduled and will move forward.
There are two common forms of dental implant surgery – endosteal and subperiosteal. The difference between the two is that in an endosteal implant, the implant is affixed directly into the jawbone, while in a subperiosteal implant, the housing and implant are placed under the gums, but not within the jawbone. Unless the jawbone of the patient is severely compromised or several teeth are being replaced, endosteal is typically the style of surgery chosen. Endosteal implants are a safe procedure, and according to www.golsendental.com, are much better tolerated than dentures since their effect on normal oral function is minimal.
There are two phases of endosteal implant surgery that take place months apart from one another. In the first phase, the gums are cut away in the place where the implant will be put in, and a hole is drilled into the jawbone. A metal post is then placed inside of the jawbone, in which the implant will rest on once the second phase is complete. The gums are then stitched up, and some time will elapse to allow the jawbone to regrow around the implant post. The patient must be careful during this time to not upset the stitches in their gums, as well as to practice good oral hygiene to prevent an infection.
Once this is complete, the patient will return to the dentist’s office. Once again, the gums will be cut open, and a device called an abutment will be placed onto the post. The abutment is the
“seat” on which the prosthetic will fit into. Some prosthetics are fixed and can’t be taken out while others can. The one the patients decide on is entirely up to them. After that, the gums are sewn once more, and the final healing process begins.
All the patient needs to do now is to ensure they don’t agitate the surrounding area of the implant, and everything else will fall into place on its own. Ideally, the patient should stick to soft foods that won’t aggravate the area, as well as avoid consuming any tobacco products as this will hinder the healing process.
There you have it – dental implant surgery from start to finish. It’s an extremely safe procedure and any practice worth their salt has done dozens, if not hundreds of them, since they opened their doors. If you’re considering this procedure, just make sure to go to a reputable practice, and make sure to follow the instructions of the entire staff without fail. That way, your recovery time will be minimalized, and you’ll be back to normal as quickly as possible.