Know The Basics About Dental Implants
First of all, you should have a working knowledge of what implants are and how they are installed. Modern implants consist of a titanium rod, called an implant “root,” which is embedded in or on the bone underneath your gums. The titanium (due to its peculiar properties) firmly fuses to the bone in a process called “osseointegration” without any harmful side effects.
As a local anesthetic is used during the implant surgery, there is no pain felt at that time. Once the anesthetic wears off, you will need to take a pain-killing medication such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen. Antibiotics or an antibiotic gel, paste, or pill are also sometimes prescribed by periodontists.
A dental crown will be affixed to the top of the implant rod – or permanent, implant-supported dentures can be attached to four implants. The implants will then look, feel, and function just like natural teeth.
How Do I Maintain My New Dental Implants?
Most of the questions about dental implants tend to concern their basic function and the placement process, but you shouldn’t forget about the actual day to day maintenance of your “new teeth” either.
You should see your periodontist for a follow-up visit within a few weeks of receiving your new implants so he can make sure they are working well and you can ask him any questions you may have. And you should schedule a check-up at least twice a year thereafter. If you ever have a specific problem with your implants, you should be quick to schedule a special periodontal appointment as well.
Unlike other tooth restoration methods, dental implants require only normal dental hygiene to maintain them in like-new condition for years to come. In fact, they last for decades – often for the rest of the patient’s life.
If you fail to keep up good oral hygiene on and around your implant tooth, however, it is possible that the gum and bone tissues surrounding the implant could become inflamed. This is called peri-implantitis and is the equivalent of gum disease.
If this happens, do not panic. Your periodontist can remove any tartar encrusted on the implant and treat the gum disease. Far better, however, to prevent peri-implantitis to begin with through brushing, flossing, and use of an antiseptic mouth wash on and around the dental implant.
To learn more about how to care for dental implants or to schedule a meeting with your local periodontist to see if implants are right for you, contact Ormond Beach Periodontics & Implant Dentistry in Ormond Beach, Florida, and surrounding communities!