Dental implants are an incredible, unique treatment used for replacing missing teeth. This treatment, the result of an accidental discovery made in the 1950s, provides you with an alternative to traditional bridges and dentures. At Essen Dentistry, we provide implants to meet all kinds of different needs, whether you are missing a single tooth, an entire arch of teeth, or you have suffered a lot of bone loss. The process is more involved than traditional treatments, but the benefits are nothing short of amazing.
Before you can undergo implant surgery, we first need to determine if you are a candidate. During your consultation, we go over your medical history. It is important that we know the medical conditions you are being treated for and what medications you are on. Some conditions, such as diabetes and heart disease, can have a serious impact on the success of your treatment if they are not well-managed. We take the time to go over your lifestyle habits, including alcohol and tobacco use. These habits can affect how well you can recover after surgery and can increase your risk for implant failure.
Another important part of your initial consultation is your oral exam. We look over the condition of your mouth, checking for signs of gum disease and tooth decay. These issues will need to be treated before surgery to lower your risk for infections. We also take X-rays, which allow us to assess your jawbone and determine if a bone graft is needed before implants can be placed.
Dental implant surgery is done under a local anesthetic and sedation. The local anesthetic ensures that you do not feel any pain while sedation helps you to feel calm and relaxed. We begin surgery with small incisions in your gums, providing us with access to your jawbone. Holes are drilled into your jawbone, and your implant posts are placed directly inside. Your gums are sutured closed, and temporary teeth are set into place on the posts.
There is a recovery period after implant surgery. This process can take several weeks to several months to complete. Immediately following surgery, you will be provided with instructions to follow. These instructions will help you to deal with common post-surgical issues, such as pain and swelling, and help you properly care for your mouth after surgery. They will inform you of what to eat, what to avoid, and when to call the office.
Also, during the recovery, you will be scheduled for several follow up appointments. With these appointments, we can monitor the progress of your healing and make sure that your bone is fusing properly to the implant posts. Regular follow-ups are also important for avoiding serious complications.
Once you have fully healed from implant surgery, we begin the process for placing your final dental restorations. First, we remove your temporary teeth and place the abutments, or connectors, on to your implant posts. Next, we take impressions of your mouth. These impressions are sent to our dental lab. At the lab, the technicians use your impression to design and fabricate your new teeth. Once they have been completed, you return for your final visit. At this appointment, we place your restorations to make sure they fit properly, are comfortable, and your bite is natural. Finally, your new teeth are secured into place on the posts with small screws.
Dental implants may be a lengthier, more involved process than bridges and dentures, but the benefits this treatment provides make it all worthwhile. For more information, and to find out if dental implants are right for you, call Essen Dentistry at (772) 210-7610 today.