What is Dental Implants?
WHO CAN BENEFIT FROM DENTAL IMPLANTS?
Missing, fractured or decaying teeth not only have a significant impact on a person’s physical appearance, but also on self-confidence and long-term health. Your surgeon may recommend dental implants if you have:
- One or more missing teeth
- Severely decayed teeth
- Fractured or damaged teeth
- Congenital tooth defects
Following surgery, patients regain the ability to smile, speak and eat with confidence. Dental implants are made to replicate the appearance and full function of your original teeth. They are also able to preserve your natural facial structure, and prevent bone deterioration and tooth decay.
Dental implants are intimately connected to the underlying gum tissue and bone of the mouth. Soft tissue or bone grafting may be recommended if you do not have enough gum tissue or bone to hold dental implants. The best way to find out if you can benefit from dental implants is to schedule a consultation with Dr. Hlavacek.
WHAT TO EXPECT DURING YOUR SURGERY
Dental implant surgery typically requires two surgical procedures over the course of 6-8 months. During the first surgical procedure, the implants (tiny titanium posts, which serve as root substitutes) will be surgically inserted into your jawbone. Over the next several months, your jawbone will gradually grow around the implants, creating a strongly bonded infrastructure for your replacement teeth. During the bonding phase, you will need to wear temporary dentures.
Once the implant has become fully integrated, the second phase of surgery can begin. Your surgeon will attach small connector posts to your implants. These posts are designed to securely hold your new teeth. Replacement teeth, called crowns, will then be anchored in place. Your replacement teeth will be created in advance of this procedure, based on impressions taken of your natural teeth.
AFTER YOUR DENTAL IMPLANT SURGERY
Immediately following surgery, your discomfort should be minimal. You may experience some swelling in your gums and face. Minor bleeding, as well as bruising near the treatment area is also common. Your surgeon may prescribe pain medication to make this process more comfortable. An ice pack may also be recommended to ease swelling and pain.
Most patients are able to resume work and most other normal activities the day after surgery. Your surgeon will provide you with specific aftercare and oral hygiene instructions. It is essential that you follow your surgeon’s instructions and practice meticulous oral hygiene. Failure to floss or brush properly may result in infection or implant failure. Heavy smoking can also cause implant failure.
UNDERSTANDING THE RISKS OF DENTAL IMPLANT SURGERY
All surgical procedures, including dental implant surgery, have risks involved. Some risks may include bleeding, scarring, swelling, slow healing or nerve damage. On rare occasions, implant failure may occur. It is estimated that implant failure occurs in 1-5 percent of procedures. All of these risks will be discussed in depth your consultation.
IF YOU’RE READY TO TAKE THE NEXT STEP
Contact us to schedule a consultation for dental implants. During your consultation, you will have the opportunity to review photos and discuss details such as the cost and expected recovery time.