We live in an exciting time for dentistry because of all of the technological advancements that enhance care and provide new solutions to your smile. Dental implants are among that new technology, and they can offer excellent options to the right candidate. However, because dental implants are still so new, there are some misconceptions about the procedure — including the idea that an implant might be painful. If you have questions about dental implants, and whether they would be right for you, read on — or call the experts at Advanced Dentistry to learn more.
What is a dental implant?
At its most basic, a dental implant replaces the root of your tooth and includes a crown to replicate your tooth. Dental implants are meant to be permanent fixes for missing teeth — and to support your smile and the teeth that remain. Implants are designed to fuse to your jawbone, making them secure, long-term solutions with a high success rate when properly cared for. The crown is designed to look just like the tooth that was there, meaning that your dental implant will not be noticeably different from the rest of your natural teeth.
When are dental implants used?
Dental implants can be good options for anyone with healthy gums and enough bone to secure the implant. Typically, a candidate for oral surgery or tooth extractions would also be a candidate for a dental implant.
Dental implants are used to replace missing teeth. In some cases, multiple implants can be used to replace several missing teeth in a row. Your remaining natural teeth help secure the dental implant, and the implant supports your natural teeth — making for a highly effective pairing.
If you are unsure about bridgework or dentures, dental implants can provide an excellent alternative. Dentures require extra maintenance and cleaning, and they can slide around in your mouth, causing discomfort, embarrassment, and slurred speech. Dental implants are the most natural-looking and feeling solution for missing teeth. Don’t be surprised if you forget that your dental implant isn’t your natural tooth — it’s that comfortable and accurate.
What is the process for getting a dental implant?
Before you receive a dental implant, your dentist will work with other professionals to determine the best possible treatment plan for your dental health. Everyone is different, and personalized care will help aid your recovery — and the success of the procedure. Your team will help you understand what needs to happen and address your expectations every step of the way with excellent communication.
When your team identifies a dental implant as the best course of action, the first step includes placing a titanium post into the socket of your missing tooth. Healing from this step takes no more than three months, as the bone grows around the implant root, securing it in place.
Once your healing is complete, your dentist will connect an abutment to the root. The abutment will connect the crown to the root, seamlessly holding everything together. The crown is designed to match your smile perfectly, including the color and shape of your teeth. Everything will look as natural as possible.
You will need to care for your dental implant in exactly the same way you care for your other teeth. Brush and floss twice a day, and rinse with mouthwash. Schedule and attend regular visits to your dentist to ensure the success of your dental implant — and the health of your entire mouth.
How much pain is involved with a dental implant, and how do I deal with it?
Because of the involved process, many people might assume that a dental implant is extremely painful. However, that simply is not the case. Dental implants are no more painful than any routine oral surgeries or tooth extractions. Since the team who places the implant will be using local anesthesia, you will remain comfortable throughout the procedure. If you feel anxious about the process or are nervous when undergoing dental care in general, just let us know — we can help.
After the initial procedure of a dental implant, when the root is placed in the jawbone, some patients do report tenderness. However, this discomfort is mild, and can be addressed easily with over the counter pain medication — no need for risky opioids.
All in all, dental implants are excellent solutions for the right patient. The most pain you’ll experience is regret at not getting the process done sooner. There’s nothing worse than feeling unsure about your smile because of one or more missing teeth. Dental implants are a great way to take back and restore your smile, which will give you renewed confidence in every facet of your life.
Are you ready to schedule an appointment to begin the dental implant process? Call Advanced Dentistry today at (614) 399-9381 — we’re ready to help you smile!