Even though your dentist in Clayton keeps emphasizing the importance of proper oral care to preserve your teeth, many people still succumb to tooth loss. Unfortunately, tooth loss is not only unsightly, but it also predisposes you to several oral health problems such as tooth decay, gum disease, bone loss, and further tooth loss.
For years, the dental industry has offered dentures and dental bridges to replace missing teeth. Still, today, thanks to advancements in technology, you can have the option to get permanent teeth in the form of dental implants.
Dental implants are better than dentures and bridges for many reasons. First, they are designed to last a lifetime, which means you don’t need to spend money on replacements. Two, they are visually appealing as the crowns resemble the look and feel of natural teeth. Another amazing benefit of dental implants is their 95%-98% success rate. So, it’s not surprising why more than 500,000 Americans are getting dental implants every year. Yet, despite how popular dental implants are, many people still have questions.
If you’re thinking about getting dental implants, here are the answers to the most common questions about this procedure:
The Most Common Questions About Dental Implants
#1 What Are Dental Implants?
Contrary to popular belief, dental implants are not teeth. Instead, these are metal posts designed to mimic the function of natural tooth roots. Basically, a dental implant is made from a biocompatible metal, usually titanium, and is shaped to look like a screw. It’s a fixture that your oral surgeon will surgically embed inside your jawbone to replace missing tooth roots. Then, your oral surgeon can top it with a partial denture, a full denture, a single cap, or a fixed bridge.
Once the implant fully integrates with your jawbone, your oral surgeon will attach a connector known as the abutment. And lastly, the dentist will place the artificial tooth.
#2 Are They Safe?
Millions of Americans who wear dental implants can vouch for their safety. Even though it’s a surgical procedure, they are generally safe as long as you qualify. Your oral surgeon will screen you for eligibility before you’re allowed to go through surgery. Nevertheless, oral surgeons use sophisticated and up-to-date devices to ensure that the procedure runs smoothly.
#3 Is it Painful?
Pain and discomfort are subjective, but most people who underwent dental implant surgery say that the procedure was painless. Your oral surgeon will anesthetize you before surgery so you will feel comfortable the entire time.
If you ever feel pain, it should be very minimal. After the surgery, it’s normal to feel slight discomfort as the effect of the anesthesia wanes off, but don’t worry, your oral surgeon will give you post-operative instructions so you can deal with the pain and swelling at home while you’re recovering. Take antibiotics and pain medications as prescribed.
#4 How Long Does the Procedure Take?
Several factors influence how long the procedure will take, such as the patient’s general health, how many teeth need replacing as well as their location, and if you still need a tooth extraction before the placement.
The surgery is divided into two phases that extend up to three to nine months. But, sometimes, it can take longer, especially if you need a tooth extraction or a bone graft.
#5 What Are the Advantages of Dental Implants?
Dental implants offer numerous benefits. Some of their benefits include the following:
- Designed to last a lifetime
- Can replace a single tooth or multiple teeth
- Resistant to stains, cavities, and decay
- Improve your overall appearance
- Boost your confidence
- Mimic the look and function of real teeth
- Allow you to eat your favorite foods
- 98% success rate
#6 What Are the Downsides to Getting Dental Implants?
Dental implant placement is just like any other surgery. You will likely experience some discomfort and swelling after the surgery. Moreover, there will always be a risk of infection, but you can manage these risks by diligently following your oral surgeon’s post-operative instructions.
#7 What’s My Diet Like After the Surgery?
48 hours after the surgery, you are expected to go on a soft diet to avoid irritating the site. Some of the foods and drinks you are allowed to consume are cottage cheese, soups, yogurts, milkshakes, smoothies, cooked cereals, mashed potatoes, pudding, protein shakes, and ice cream.
On your third day post-op, you can eat foods that don’t require a lot of chewing, like soft sandwiches, noodles, mac and cheese, and scrambled eggs. As much as possible, avoid eating hard and crunchy foods like popcorn and hamburgers. You should also avoid eating spicy and acidic foods. You may resume your more usual diet after roughly a week.
Do You Still Need More Information from Your Dentist in Clayton?
If you still have more questions in mind that aren’t addressed here, we’d be happy to answer them for you.
At Tyron Family Dentistry, we are dedicated to building long-term relationships with our patients. We offer personalized and affordable dental treatments to ensure you get the smile you have always dreamed about. We customize your treatment based on your needs, budget, and preference. Call us today for an appointment.