What To Expect From Dental Implants

If you are planning to undergo dental implant surgery soon, you may know little about the procedure or what to expect from it. Here's a bit of information about dental implant procedures to help you better understand them.

What Is an Implant?

A dental implant is a prosthetic device that is used to replace the roots of a lost tooth. The actual implant is a small rod or screw that is made from titanium, a biocompatible metal.

Is the Placement of a Dental Implant Painful?

The placement of an implant is not painful because the dentist conducts the procedure after applying local anesthesia. They numb the area around the implantation site. Consequently, you shouldn't feel any discomfort as the implant is being drilled through an incision in the gums and into the bone of the jaw.

How Soon Is an Implant Ready for Full Bite Pressure?

A dental implant can withstand the same amount of bite pressure as a natural tooth. However, the device goes through a stabilization process before it is ready to be used to chew with full force.

After your surgery is complete, the resulting wound starts to heal, undergoing a process called osseointegration.

During osseointegration, new bone cells form, filling the tiny spaces between the dental implant and the bone material. This process may take several months. Nevertheless, once osseointegration is complete, the implant is fully secure in the jawbone.

Are Additional Procedures Necessary to Complete a Tooth Replacement?

A dental implant is used with other devices to complete the restoration of one or more teeth. If your implant is being used for a single-tooth replacement, an abutment and a dental crown will still need to be added to the device. Additionally, the gums around the implant may need to be contoured for the most natural-looking result.

If your dental implant is used to help stabilize a multi-teeth device, such as a fixed bridge, an abutment must be added to the implant. However, instead of a single crown, the implant is covered by a bridge crown.

An implant may also be used to help support a denture. The dentist installs an attachment mechanism on the underside of the denture to connect it to the abutment of the dental implant.

Dental implants that are used to replace unremovable full palate-replacement devices are usually connected to multi-teeth appliances using screws.

Is Implant Failure Likely?

Implant failure is unlikely. However, the device and the area around it should be properly maintained.

The gums around an implant may develop peri-implantitis, a type of gum disease, if they are not kept clean. Dental implants may also shift from trauma to the mouth.

To learn more about dental implants, schedule a consultation with a local dentist.