Dental Implant Procedure – What to Expect

Dental Implants Overview:

Dental implant surgery is an operation that replaces tooth roots with metal, screwlike posts and replaces damaged or missing teeth with artificial teeth that look and function much like real ones. The implant is usually made of titanium and is surgically placed by a dentist or dental specialist such as an oral surgeon. These screw-like elements are put into the jawbone and are meant to imitate the root of the tooth.

How Long will it Take:

There are several elements and factors that will determine the duration of time needed for an implant procedure.

  • The health of your teeth
  • The number of teeth that are damaged
  • Which teeth should be replaced or switched
  • If there will be a tooth extracted prior to implant placement

These factors will determine the overall range of visits to the dental practitioner throughout the treatment. For example, one tooth implant surgery will sometimes take one to 2 hours from beginning to completion. This time will include anesthesia and preparing the patient for a sterile surgical environment.

Will it be Painful?

There could be discomfort like other surgeries or local anesthesia and/or IV for oral sedation could be applied to remove any discomfort or stress at the time of the procedure.

Surgery Preparation:

A dental practice such as New York Total Dental, dentists in Midtown Manhattan, may give some pre-operative instructions to follow. These may include:

  • Rinse your mouth with a special antibacterial mouthwash, such as chlorhexidine.
  • As a preventative measurement, your doctor may prescribe antibiotics to take for a few days prior to surgery.
  • Your doctor may give you instruction to eat a good breakfast before the operation, unless you will have the procedure done under IV sedation. In this case, you would not consume anything after midnight before the operation.

Day of Dental Implant:

Restoring your mouth with an implant is accomplished in 2 phases, and therefore the whole process will take six to 9 months.

The First Part:

  • For the dental implant surgery, your mouth will be completely desensitized with local anesthesia.
  • A cut is made in your gums where the implant will go.
  • A specialized (but quiet) drill will then be used to create a space for the implant in the bone.
  • A specialized drill can then be used to create an area for the implant within the bone.
  • The implant will then be screwed in with the help of hand tool.
  • After the implant is setup, a second element is screwed into the implant itself and can stay in throughout the healing process.
  • The gums are then stitch closed over the implant.
  • Over a period of a couple of months, the implant becomes firmly connected to the bone.

The Second Part:

  • The second part begins with the re-exposure of the implant. Another little incision is formed in your gums to reveal the implant unless there was a separate part placed on the implant that sits higher than the gums.
  • Your doctor then begins a series of appointments to form your new implant crown. The number of steps can be completely different in each case. They sometimes include making impressions of your teeth. From these impressions, they will create precise operating models of your mouth, which are exactly mounted for correct alignment. Your crown is fabricated on these models.
  • The last step is the final replacement of your new implant. In some cases, depending on which tooth is being replaced, the dental practitioner might need to adjust the new crown before it is totally completed to check the shape and fit of it in your mouth.

Post-Surgery Stress:

Small bruises and swelling in the gum and soft tissues may be normal. Usually, the discomfort and stress or pain, if any, is treated with an ordinary painkiller, such as ibuprofen, hydrocodone, or codeine. You should expect to be ready to work the next day.

Surgical Complications:

  • Infection can occur around bone and gums
  • Dental implant rejection can happen due to the teeth not being properly aligned
  • Bone loss may occur around the dental implant
  • Your dental implant may fail to stick to the bone
  • Implant maintenance

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