Dental Implants: Your Step-by-Step Guide on What to Expect

If you have missing teeth, it could be time to consider dental implant surgery. While dentures may have been the standard treatment option in the past, they only replace the missing portion of your tooth that sits about your gumline. With dental implants, you can restore the entire tooth ― including the root ― which plays a crucial biological role in your overall oral health.

Your tooth roots and jawbones form a system that normally works together. When you bite and chew, your natural teeth move a tiny bit. This movement stimulates the bone tissue in your jaws. If you extract teeth and replace them with dentures, you lose this important interaction and, over time, your jawbone tissue slowly erodes. Henry Suarez, DDS and the team at Healthy Dental Expressions use dental implants to recreate this stimulation by creating teeth restorations that more closely function like natural teeth.

Doesn’t getting dental implants hurt?

The implant procedure can sound overwhelming. After all, we cut gum tissue and drill holes into bone. Plus, some dental implant procedures require bone grafts. It’s no wonder that the process can sound intense.

However, these fears are typically groundless. Advancements in dental anesthetics and procedures have greatly reduced the pain factor. Yes, there’s usually some soreness or tenderness after the anesthetics wear off, but you can handle this minor discomfort with over-the-counter pain medications or, if needed, mild prescription drugs.

It may surprise you to learn that many implant procedures occur midday, and the patient can often resume their regular routine immediately after their appointment. Rest assured that as long as you prepare by taking the recommended pain medication, you should be able to return to your regular activities as soon as your implant is in.

That said, procedures, including bone grafts, may require a general anesthetic. If you need bone grafts or a general anesthetic, you’ll need to have someone drive you home after your appointment, and you shouldn’t operate heavy or dangerous equipment for approximately 24 hours after your surgery.

What to expect when getting implants

Getting your dental implant is only the first step in the tooth replacement process. Once we place your implant ― which is a titanium post ― it needs to fuse with your jawbone, a process called osseointegration. Osseointegration takes time, which can depend on the implant procedure you had and on the overall condition of your jaw.

While your jaw heals and bonds to the implant, we often recommend restricting your diet to soft foods to avoid disrupting the osseointegration process. Once your implant fuses to your jawbone, we place an abutment on top of it. Then, we place the false tooth on top of the abutment. The tooth is the only thing you’ll see above your gumline.

Every implant procedure has its own challenges based on the condition of the tissue in your mouth. However, choosing an experienced dental implant specialist, such as the ones at Healthy Dental Expressions, is the first step in a successful implant procedure. 

Contact Healthy Dental Expressions today to schedule your initial implant consultation. You can phone us directly at 561-235-3839 or request an appointment using our online tool. You’ll learn more about the dental implant procedure and the advantages it offers you.

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