What is a Dental Implant?
Dental implants are mostly made of titanium since it is a compatible material with the living tissues. A Dental Implant consists of 3 parts; the implant (titanium screw placed into the bone), the overlying crown, and the abutment device that connects the implant and the crown. Dental implants function just like the natural teeth. They are strong and stable. Patients can regain the confidence of having a shining smile with Dental Implants.
Are Dental Implants for Me?
Dental implants are an effective method to replace a missing teeth. They offer a stable and permanent solution and beneficial both functionally and aesthetically. Dental implants can help patients with:
- A single tooth missing – instead of a bridge
- Multiple teeth missing – instead of bridges & partial dentures
- All teeth missing – instead of dentures
- Unhappy with the appearance of their smile.
Unless there is another untreated disease in the mouth, almost everyone is a candidate for a dental implant surgery. Dentists will not perform the operation until the other diseases are treated. If you think about having dental implants, consult your dentist for an oral examination with X-Rays.
Before the Procedure
The bone structure and oral tissues should be in good health to be suitable for a dental implant surgery. A dental exam including X-Rays will be performed to check the overall health of the mouth. The surgeon will plan the procedure considering the results of the examination.
During the Procedure
The surgeon places the titanium screw into the jawbone by either Bone Grafting or Sinus Lifting procedures. Once the screw is fitted, it is left to integrate with the jawbone and other tissues. In 8-12 weeks the screw will be unified with the tissues and create a solid base for the implant.
Once the integration period is complete, the surgeon re-opens the gums and places the abutment device on top of the screw. It is a minor procedure performed under local anesthesia. The gums heal in about 2 weeks. In some cases, patients get the abutment connected while the screw is getting placed, meaning no need for a second operation. A temporary crown might be used until the permanent ones are ready. Once the gums heal and the base is solid enough to support the new tooth, the permanent crown is placed on the abutment.
It takes about 8-12 weeks for the implant screw to integrate with the tissues and provide a solid base for the crown. Once healed, it serves as a root for the crown. There might be some sensitivity once the permanent crown is placed, and it should fade away in 2-3 days.
Swelling is normal, and usually starts to reduce after 48 hours. Ice compress is recommended to control the swelling. Hot meals and drinks should be avoided for the first day. Some bleeding is normal after the surgery. Stitches will remain around 2 weeks. If swelling and pain keeps increasing After 3-4 days, patients should contact the surgeon for a check up.
- Good oral hygiene
- Avoiding the implant for a while during brushing
- Rinsing the mouth with salt water
- Cleaning after meals
- Avoiding rubbing the area with tongue
- Avoiding smoking
- Painkillers if needed