If you’re suffering from tooth loss, you have several options for restoring your bite and smile. Thanks to their longevity and comfort, dental implants are highly regarded as the best choice. Dental implants look, feel, and behave like real teeth, and most patients don’t even realize they’re there and can resume normal eating shortly after the procedure.
Despite the many advantages, patients are often anxious about the idea of dental implants. We often hear different reasons for nerves. Some patients are concerned about the length and complexity of the procedure, while others are worried about pain.
Don’t let your anxiety prevent you from taking advantage of this life-changing dental procedure. We can tell you thousands of patients successfully receive dental implants every year with little to no side effects. One of the best ways to ease your nerves is to read up on exactly what happens during a dental implant placement. Here is what you can expect when receiving dental implants at a practice like Ormond Beach Periodontics:
Preparing For Dental Implants
Taking the steps to prepare for dental implants is critical to achieving successful outcomes. The procedure can slightly differ from patient to patient (depending on your age, jaw, and number of implants); however, your periodontist can help you understand the full timeline of the procedure and how to prepare. Here are some things you’ll need to consider prior to beginning treatment:
- Oral Hygiene: It’s very important to practice good oral hygiene (regular brushing, flossing, and mouth wash) in the days and weeks leading up to dental implants. Poor oral hygiene can lead to a greater chance of infection.
- Transportation: If any of your appointments require general anesthesia, you won’t be able to drive yourself home from the appointment, so be sure to arrange transportation ahead of time.
- Dietary Adjustments: If receiving anesthesia, you’ll also need to fast for at least 8 hours prior to the surgery.
- Clothing: Dental implant placements can take some time, so you’ll want to be sure to wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothing to your appointment.
What To Expect During The Process
Dental implants are installed over a series of appointments with several months in-between visits. This is because your jaw and gums need time to heal between each stage:
- The Implant: The first step is the installation or placement of the actual titanium implant. During this process, a small incision is made in the gums and the implant is connected to the jaw.
- The Abutment: After your gums have healed and had a chance to grow around the implant, an abutment is connected to the top of the implant. The abutment’s purpose is to hold the crown. Your periodontist will also take an impression of your teeth in order to create the crown.
- The Crown: The last stage involves placing the crown on the abutment. This is step is usually the fastest of the three.
Each of the three stages takes 1 to 2 hours. Your periodontist will likely ask you to return for a couple of follow-up visits to ensure everything is healing and your dental implants are performing as expected. All in all, you can expect the entire procedure to take anywhere from 6 to 12 months depending on the total number of implants and how quickly you heal.
If you’re concerned about pain, remember your periodontist will most likely perform the procedure while you’re placed under general or local anesthesia. Most patients only report feeling minor discomfort and vibrations, if anything.
Taking Care After Each Appointment
Allowing time for your gums to properly heal in-between appointments is absolutely critical for success. After each step of the process, you should make it a point to get lots of rest, eat soft foods, avoid strenuous activities, and most importantly practice good oral hygiene. You should also avoid smoking during the healing process.
The Benefits of Dental Implants
While dental implants can take some time, most patients report relatively few side effects and minimal pain. We’re confident that you’ll find the benefits of this innovative procedure far outweigh the short-term discomfort.
When patients practice good oral hygiene, dental implants can last several decades. They’re durable and they look and feel like natural teeth. They also help to prevent bone loss and keep surrounding teeth stable. Best of all, it’s almost never too late to get them.
If you’re seeking dental implants in Volusia County, Florida, contact us at Ormond Beach Periodontics & Implant Dentistry today. Dr. Stuart Beauchamp would be happy to provide an initial consultation and help you get your smile and bite back.