If you’ve lost one or more of your permanent teeth, you may wonder what options you have. Traditionally, dentists replace missing teeth with a bridge or denture. While these are still viable options, dental implants have become the most popular solution.
Dental implants involve a surgical procedure (sometimes more) that places titanium posts in your jawbone. As your mouth heals, you’ll have several follow-up visits before the final placement of your new teeth. While it’s a more involved process than a bridge or denture, this method of tooth replacement is permanent. Be sure to prepare for the day of your procedure. Also, prepare for the days and weeks that follow.
Make Sure Dental Implants Are Right for You
Make sure you’re a good candidate for implants. A periodontist can perform a comprehensive evaluation of your mouth and jaws. They’ll look for signs of gum disease, bone loss, and other potential problems. They’ll also go over your medical health history to decide if implants are the right solution. Then they’ll develop a dental treatment plan personalized to your needs.
Prepare Your Jaw for Implants
In some cases, preparing for implants requires a bone graft first. Your periodontist uses this surgical procedure to replace missing bone mass, which helps to strengthen the jaw enough to hold your implants securely in place. Or, the periodontist may need to reshape the bone to smooth it out. Bone grafting or reshaping surgery isn’t necessary for everyone. Should you need either procedure, you will need to wait until you’ve healed before you can get dental implants.
Prepare for Downtime
Following your dental implant surgery, you will need some time to heal. Be sure to schedule some downtime before the day of your procedure. You may want to take off at least a few days from work. You will have some bruising and swelling, so taking some time to rest is vital. You’ll want to stock your fridge and pantry with soft, easy-to-eat foods. While you’ll likely start feeling better a few days later, the healing process takes time. Getting back to your routine and regular activities will be a gradual process. Be sure to follow your dentist’s directions to ensure your recovery goes smoothly.
Get Ready for Surgery
Your dentist may require you to complete a course of antibiotics before you undergo implant surgery. If you need them, be sure to take them as directed.
If you undergo surgery with a local anesthetic (with or without nitrous oxide), you may be able to eat a light meal the morning of your procedure. If you need IV sedation, your dentist will direct you to avoid eating or drinking anything after midnight the night before. Again, be sure to follow your pre-surgical instructions to avoid having to reschedule for another date.
Find a Qualified Dentist Near You
Dental implants are more involved than bridges and dentures, but they provide you with a permanent solution to tooth loss. However, taking some time to prepare, and following your dentist’s instructions, can ensure a smooth recovery.
Do you want to find out if you’re a candidate for dental implants? denTEL can help you find a qualified dentist who meets your unique needs and criteria. You can search by specialty and location (dentist near me or me, for example), service, treatment, or procedure. You can view treatment packages and prices to get a price estimate, to find the best dentist at the right price.
For more information and to begin your search, visit denTEL today.