Top 9 Frequently Asked Questions About Dental Implant Surgery
Did your dentist recommend dental implant surgery? If yes, then you surely have questions about the procedure, if there are complications, as well as the recovery period. We'll tackle all of that here as we answer the 9 most frequently asked questions about dental implant surgery.
Got a recommendation from the dentist to undergo dental implant surgery? With more than 120 million Americans missing at least one tooth, this type of surgery is one of the most viable solutions to restore dental health.
But is this the right surgery for you? Do you understand what happens during this procedure? To help resolve all your doubts and worries, here is a step-by-step breakdown of the most common questions regarding dental implants procedure:
What is Dental Implant Surgery?
First of all, what is this type of surgery and why do dentists recommend it?
Dental implants are replacements for organic teeth roots. Dentists will insert a titanium root through the gums and into the jaw bone. After healing, the titanium will fuse with the bone in a process called osseointegration.
Once this takes place, our Tonawanda dentist can then attach an abutment and then a false tooth, also known as the denture crown. This ensures you can use it as if it was a real, organic tooth. The false tooth won't come off or cause pain because of the titanium root holding it in place.
What are the Benefits?
Why undergo this procedure instead of getting traditional dentures? For one thing, implants look more real than dentures. They don't damage the structural integrity of the surrounding teeth and they are more stable than bridges.
Maintenance is also easier with implants. You can brush them and floss them like real teeth and when you have to remove them, it's as simple as clicking them off the abutment. You won't have to do this as often as you would with dentures, either due to their built-in design.
Because the new teeth utilize titanium roots bound to your gums and jaw bone, you don't have to deal with the pressure and movement often associated with bridges and dentures. Your teeth don't grind against each other and this means they don't get damaged as much.
It also means you won't feel pain or awkward space in your mouth.
What are the Risks?
With all the great benefits, are there any negative aspects of a dental implant surgery? Are there any risks?
Like all forms of surgeries, there are potential risks. The fortunate truth, however, is that these risks aren't too significant and the benefits clearly outweigh them.
Some of the risks you face include:
- Injuries around the blood vessels or teeth
- Nerve damage
- Sinus complications
Sinus issues can occur when the implants on the upper jaw bone push up into the sinus cavities, protruding inside. Infection and swelling can occur as well, making the surgery area painful, particularly right after the operation.
Is This Painful?
All this talk of potential risks might make dental implants sound scary and painful but the truth is most people consider it less painful than a tooth extraction. During the procedure of implanting the titanium roots, the dentist will likely use a local anesthesia. This means only the jaw area will feel numb and you'll stay awake during the operation.
Keep in mind that the jaw bone doesn't have many nerves that sense pain. This again ensures that if you do feel something, it'll likely be more akin to general discomfort than actual pain.
If you're still uncertain about it, you can request sedative options.
Do I Qualify?
Before you can get implants, you'll need to guarantee you can qualify. Some of the factors to take into consideration include:
- No instances of teeth clenching
- Healthy gums
- Good general health
- Healthy bone tissue
Good general health also refers to elements not related to your teeth. If you don't suffer from cancer, heart complications, and smoking complications then you should be good to go for the operation.
If your bone tissue isn't healthy or strong enough, you can still get the operation but it will require to first get bone grafts. However, this does mean children often won't qualify because even with bone grafts they still don't have strong enough tissue to handle the implants.
How Long is Dental Implant Recovery?
A common misconception is that getting dental implants take too long. You may hear rumors of people taking up to 2 years to complete recovery but that's not the case. The average period of recovery often only takes between three and six months.
This is the time needed to let the jaw fuse with the artificial implant, allowing it to replace the original tooth root. This amount of time also lets the sutured tissues recover and let the stitches come off on their own.
If you need something for the meantime to eat and speak, the dentist can give you temporary crowns. You'll get these replaced as soon as the implant and abutment are fully in place and your jaw recovered to handle to pressure of a new crown.
Any Aftercare Tips?
As your jaw and gums recover, there are a few important aftercare steps to keep in mind. You don't want to prolong the recovery period or cause any complications as you recover.
First off, don't poke your gums or new implant with your fingers. It will only cause the area to swell due to the movement.
Don't brush the area either because your gums and surrounding teeth are still sensitive. This also means avoiding crunchy food for a few weeks. Lastly, make sure to avoid any extraneous physical activity and exercises until the area heals.
Before you even start, you'll have to begin the process with a few preparation steps. This may involve visiting different kinds of dentists like a periodontist and a maxillofacial specialist to determine the health and strength of your teeth, jaws, and gums.
You'll also have to take several x-ray scans to help the dentists fully study the condition and integrity of your teeth and jaw bone. You'll also have to inform the dentists of any medications you're taking.
How Expensive is the Dental Implant Process?
The average cost of a dental implant sits between $3,000 and $6,000. You may find instances where it costs as low as $1,500 to $2,500, depending on the tooth that needs replacement. The good thing, however, is that dental insurance is likely going to trim these numbers down by a significant margin.
Also, keep in mind that dental implants are a long-term investment. Bridges may cost lower but they need replacement every decade. Dental implants, for the most part, are permanent fixtures.
Schedule an Appointment Today
Are you ready for a dental implant surgery? Still not sure if this is the right procedure for you?
We are here to help. Don't hesitate to visit us today and schedule an appointment.