If you have missing teeth, a practitioner specializing in cosmetic dentistry in Elgin may recommend dental implants. A dentist or oral surgeon fit implants by screwing titanium fixtures into your jaw to act as a root for your replacement teeth. While many people are apprehensive about having a surgical procedure on their mouths, having dental implants doesn’t have to be scary. Knowing what to expect can help take some of the fear and uncertainty away so you can approach the procedure with confidence.
How do I Prepare for Dental Implants?
Your dentist or oral surgeon will give you instructions to prepare your mouth for surgery. These may include:
- Rinsing your mouth out with an antibacterial mouthwash
- Taking antibiotics before the procedure to prevent infection
- Asking you to refrain from eating on the day of the procedure if you’re planning on having IV sedation
- Making sure you have someone to drive you to and from your surgery if you are going to be sedated
What to Expect on the Day
Your dental implant will be fitted in two stages, starting with the surgical procedure. Most people choose to have the surgery using local anesthesia, but you may have the option to be sedated if the procedure is being performed by an oral surgeon. So, what happens during dental implant surgery?
- Your dentist or surgeon will numb the area with a local anesthetic to stop you from feeling any pain during the procedure.
- A cut will be made to allow access to your jawbone where the implant will be fitted.
- The practitioner will use a drill to make a hole in the bone. While many people are concerned about the drilling phase, the equipment used is very quiet so this shouldn’t feel too intimidating.
- The implant will be securely screwed into the hole in your jawbone, and another component may be added on top. This will be used to attach your new crown later on.
- The gum tissue will be stitched closed over the implant and allowed to heal. Over time, the implant will fuse securely to your jawbone.
During a follow-up appointment, a cut will be made over the implant to expose it. The practitioner will take an impression of it to help make the crown.
You will then need to attend several more appointments to allow the dentist to make your new crown. The process will vary from person to person depending on your needs, but you should expect to have impressions made of your teeth. The technicians will use them to make a model of the inside of your mouth to help them make a crown that fits you perfectly.
The final step in the process is having your crown fitted. Your dentist may wish to test out the crown before it is finished to make sure it’s a good fit.
Is Dental Implant Surgery Painful?
You won’t feel any pain during the surgery itself because your Cosmetic Dentist or surgeon will administer local anesthetic and possibly sedation. Your gum may feel a little swollen and tender in the days following surgery. If you have any pain or discomfort, this can be treated with over the counter painkillers.
Caring for Your Dental Implant
Just like your other teeth, it’s important to take good care of your dental implant. You should follow your dentist’s advice for brushing and flossing your new tooth and attend regular dental checkups at least every six months.