Dental implants have presented an exciting way to deal with missing teeth since they were developed a few years ago. Once reserved for celebrities, thousands of ordinary people have benefited from this dental practice that produces a natural-looking smile. Getting dental implants is a process, and it begins with an evaluation appointment. Read on to find out more about the steps you will follow before your implants are installed.
It's All About Bone Structure
For a long-lasting implant, the steel post that anchors it must do so in a strong jawbone. If your bone density leaves something to be desired, you may need to take an additional step and have a bone graft performed several months before your implant surgery. As an alternative, mini-implants are a relatively new option that has a shorter post and needs less jawbone to anchor. Mini-implants may not be as long-lasting as a regular implant, however. You will also want to make sure that your mouth has been recently cleaned and all dental work completed before you make your implant appointment.
Instructions From Your Dentist
Once you have been evaluated and your mouth is ready for the surgery, you will be provided with some preoperative instructions to follow at home. Be sure to follow them carefully to avoid problems or a delay with your new implants. While it will vary, you can expect to be told to do the following:
- Take prescribed antibiotics beginning a few days before the surgery. This reduces the chances of infection and may be particularly important for those with health issues or with artificial joints.
- Use a prescription mouthwash that kills germs.
- Stop eating after midnight the night before the appointment. Be sure to ask your dentist about how to handle taking any other usual medications.
- Shop for groceries and easy to prepare (and soft) food and meals.
- Call on a friend or family member to drive you home after the appointment.
An Overview of the Implant Process
Most implant patients won't be conscious of anything thanks to anesthesia, but the implant procedure is fairly simple.
- After being given either general anesthesia or a local anesthetic, the dentist makes a very small incision on the top of your gum.
- A special drill is used to create a space in your bone for the implant.
- A post is inserted into the space and the top part of the post that will attach the implant is attached.
- There is a waiting period after your initial appointment while your bones accept and bond with the post. In the meantime, a temporary faux tooth will hold a place. To find out more about the implant process, speak to your dentist.
To learn more about dental implants, contact a dentist.