If your dentist has approved dental implants as a solution for your missing teeth, you may be wondering what you can expect. At Sanchez Dental, we know that simply understanding a procedure can relieve some of the anxiety you might have about it, and we always strive to relieve anxiety as part of our commitment to pain-free dentistry.
What Happens When I Get an Implant?
Unlike many of our procedures, a dental implant is always a two-step process, completed in different procedures spaced several weeks apart. The reason for this is that your jaw needs time to heal from the implant itself before the false tooth or bridge can be anchored to it.
Your procedure will begin with a consultation, where we’ll assess your overall health and the state of your gums, teeth and jaw. An ideal candidate for a tooth implant has a generally healthy mouth, with minimal bone loss to the jaw and mostly healthy gums. If you have gum disease, we’ll work to treat that first before proceeding with surgery.
The surgery itself is performed under sedation and with a local anesthetic. We’ll make an incision in your gums if necessary and fit a titanium rod into the space where your missing tooth had been. Depending on the type of implant you receive, the rod may be planted into the jaw bone itself or it may rest just above it.
After this procedure, you’ll need to take some time to heal. It takes time for the bone to grow back and fuse with the newly planted root. Once that has happened, the implant will be affixed permanently, and a porcelain false tooth can be anchored to it, filling in the gap caused by your missing tooth.
How Do I Maintain My Dental Implant?
Implants function much like your regular teeth, and they require no particular care once they’ve healed. You should take care to maintain good oral hygiene, especially as tooth decay in surrounding teeth can lead to bone loss and ultimately damage the implant’s root.
If you have more specific questions about your care or there’s something you don’t understand about tooth implants, please give us a call! We’ll be happy to schedule a consultation and discuss your situation with you.