How Does Dental Implant Surgery Work
There’s more to a missing tooth than meets the eye – a lot more. Of course, loss of a front tooth will meet the eye, rather forcibly, every time you smile. But the real problem lies all the way down in your jawbone where the missing tooth was once anchored.
Our bodies work on a “If you don’t use it, you lose it” principle and just as your muscles will waste away if you don’t move about, your jawbone beings to degenerate when it doesn’t get the stimulation it’s meant to get every time you chew food. Meanwhile, your teeth decide that there’s room to move, and that’s just what they do.
With dental implant surgery solving both these problems in ways that bridges or dentures can’t, and with the cost of dental implants having fallen, most dentists will recommend a dental implant. Let’s explore exactly what that entails.
What is an Implant?
Most people think of implants as being the whole tooth replacement from the implanted “root” to the crown. But just as the problems it solves lies below the surface, so does the implant itself. It is a titanium post that the dentist will insert into your jawbone. The replacement tooth comes later. Here’s why.
A Two-Part Procedure
The implant will replace the root of a tooth, that means that it must become firmly integrated into the jawbone. During the first part of the procedure, the dentist will open the gum to expose the jawbone and insert the post. Then, he or she will stitch the area closed, usually using dissolvable stitches.
Unless you are having several implants done at once, your dentist can usually work using a local anaesthetic. When the anaesthetic wears off, you should expect some pain and swelling, but it’s not unmanageable, and your dentist will usually recommend that you use anti-inflammatory pain killers for a few days.
Now, you will need to wait until the jaw accepts the implant and forms bone around it to anchor it firmly in place. Once the implant has settled down, it’s time to begin with stage two: attaching the crown or replacement tooth to the implant.
It Looks and Works Just Like a Real Tooth
Once your crown is in place atop its implant, you’re ready to face the world with a smile, but the deep-down benefits are even better than the cosmetic ones. Your jaw gets regular stimulation, and if it could think, it would be convinced that it was supporting a natural tooth. This prevents bone loss and prevents the gradual migration of teeth that we see when gaps aren’t filled with a tooth substitute.
Can a Dental Implant Work for You?
Not everyone can get a dental implant. For example, if you have left the missing tooth for too long, it may not be possible to insert one in the weakened jaw. The only way to find out whether an implant can work for you is to go to the dentist for a check-up.
We will give you the usual examination plus x-rays, and we may ask some questions about your medical history. If you are a suited to an implant, you’re in luck! It’s the best possible form of tooth replacement and works just like a natural tooth. If you’d like to find out more about dental implant surgery, call us to make your appointment. We’re looking forward to hearing from you.