What Is Dental Implant Surgery?
Dental implant surgery is a technique that uses prosthetic teeth to take the place of missing teeth. The dental surgeon places an implant that serves as an anchor point for the new tooth and recreates the same look and function of the original tooth.
The implant consists of a titanium screw and an attachment point for the replacement tooth. The screw is surgically placed in the jaw where the tooth is needed and, after a healing period, the screw fuses into the jawbone. After the fusion is complete, the prosthetic tooth can be attached.
The prosthetic tooth is typically a bridge, denture or crown custom-made to fit the look of the patient’s other teeth and fit on the implant.
Why Is Dental Implant Surgery Important?
Dental implant surgery is necessary for the following reasons:
- The procedure provides a durable and long-lasting resolution to those with missing teeth.
- Dental implants serve to check and prevent bone loss in the jawbone that occurs when teeth are missing.
- The implant surgery restores normal oral functions, allowing patients to talk and eat easily and confidently.
- Due to how the procedure does not require any alteration or reduction of adjacent teeth, dental implant surgery also preserves the natural teeth remaining.
How Is Dental Implant Surgery Performed?
There are several steps involved in performing dental implant surgery.
- The patient will need to consult with a dental professional before the process. Dental implants are not universally correct solutions for every dental problem and situation. An examination of the patient’s oral health needs to occur to determine the best course of treatment. If the chosen measure is dental implant surgery, then the patient can move on to the next step.
- The dentist and the patient have to prepare for the procedure. This typically involves getting scans, x-rays, and impressions of the patient’s teeth and gums. This is used to plan the surgical procedure and determine if any preparatory measures (like bone grafts) are necessary.
- During the implantation procedure, the patient is given sedation or a local anesthetic to ensure that there isn’t undue suffering during the procedure. The metal screw of the implant is then surgically installed in the jawbone.
- After the surgery is complete, the patient waits for 3 to 6 months as the jaw heals around the implant. During the healing process, the bone and implant undergo osseointegration to fuse together.
- When the implant is fully fused with the jawbone, the tooth can be attached to the implant.
Variations on the procedure may vary depending on how many implants are needed and the patient’s unique needs.
Caring For The Implant After The Surgery
Dental implants are meant to be a long-term solution to missing teeth. With the proper care, they can last lifetimes without issue. As such, patients need to maintain good oral hygiene after the implantation process is complete.
Brushing and flossing regularly is the basic component of oral hygiene that everyone needs to stick to. Patients will also need regular appointments with their dental care professional to examine the implants and surrounding teeth and gums. The dentist will also provide professional teeth cleaning to provide further protection for the dental implant.
Is Dental Implant Surgery Suitable For Everyone?
There are a few factors that will determine if dental implant surgery is a recommended course of action.
- The age of the patient is a crucial determining factor. Children and older adults are less likely to have the bone strength and density that is necessary for dental implant support.
- Oral health of the patient can influence the success of the implant placement. Conditions like periodontal disease, bone loss, etc, need to be handled before implant placement can proceed.
- Dental implant surgery is not optimal for patients with certain medical conditions. Hemophilia, diabetes and other conditions can increase the difficulty of the procedure and negatively impact the healing process.
- If the patient smokes, dental implant placement may not be a good idea until they quit. Smoking has been shown to negatively impact the healing process and increase the possibility of post-op complications.
- The jawbone needs a sufficient level of strength and density to endure the procedure and support the implant. If the patient’s jawbone is weak, a bone graft can be used to increase density and the success of the procedure.
A comprehensive consultation with a dental health professional should always determine if dental implant surgery.
How Much Time Is Needed To Heal From Dental Implant Surgery?
There are a number of factors that can influence the amount of time required to fully heal from an implant placement. The number of implants used, where they were placed and the unique constitution of the patient are just some of the factors that can influence the healing process.
After the intial implant procedure, when the screw is in the jaw, the implant fuses to the bone during healing. This process, known as osseointegration, usually takes 3 to 6 months to fully take hold. When it is done, the implant can provide a stable foundation for the prosthetic replacement.
The secondary healing stage begins after the artificial tooth is attached to the implant. On average, the healing period during this time is 1 to 2 weeks.
Another factor that can influence the healing process is post-op care. The dental health expert will provide many techniques and medication to alleviate discomfort and promote healing. Following them all is crucial to facilitate healing after the dental implant surgery.
How Successful Is Dental Implant Surgery?
On average, the success rate of dental implant surgery is high, varying between 95% and 98%. Precise successes rely on other factors like the implant’s quality, its placement, post-op complications, etc.
Maintaining excellent oral health before and after the placement procedure is crucial to making sure the procedure is successful. Keeping regular dental appointments will allow the dentist to examine the implant and diagnose any potential problems before they become serious.
Do You Need Dental Implant Surgery?
Please contact us if you need dental implants. Our expert team of technicians is here to ensure you have a great experience and leave with the smile you deserve.