About one million people in the UK have false teeth of some kind.
When most people think of false teeth, they think of dentures. However, dentures don’t have to be your only option. If you’re missing any adult teeth, you may be able to have a permanent dental implant. These look and function like your normal teeth. The implant process does involve dental surgeries.
Worried about the surgeries and recovery time? Keep reading to learn more about the dental implant process.
What Is a Dental Implant?
Dental implants are permanent replacements for missing adult teeth. They look just like your other teeth, and they make it easier to chew and, in some cases, talk, but a dental implant doesn’t come in one big piece. There are three main parts to dental implants, and your dental surgeon will use them all in different stages of the implant process.
Base: The base is the root of your new tooth. It’s made of titanium and looks kind of like a screw. Your surgeon will screw this part of the implant into your jaw bone where the natural root of your tooth should be. This promotes bone growth, so over time, the base will fuse to your jaw. The base is the firm foundation of the rest of your implant. It keeps the implant from wiggling or sliding out of place.
Connector: This piece is also called an abutment. It’s shaped like an octagon or hexagon and connects the crown to the base. In other words, the connector fastens onto the base and gives the crown a way to attach as well. Though this may be the smallest piece, without it, you wouldn’t have a crown.
Crown: A crown is the part of the dental implant that looks like the tooth. In most cases, it is made of ceramic and will blend in with the rest of your teeth. You won’t even be able to tell the difference. Think of your dental implant as an artificial root and tooth. Because implants fuse to your jawbone, they provide a sturdy support for one or more crowns.
How Does the Dental Implant Process Work?
The dental implant process is a long one. In most cases, there will be several months between your first visit and your last visit.
Why does it take so long?
You have to spend time working together with your dentist before your first surgery. This ensures the implant process will be as smooth as possible and that you’ll end up with the best result possible.
The Steps of a Dental Implant
During your first surgery, your surgeon will make a small incision in the gum, then put the implant into that incision and screw it into place. Because the implant replaces the root of your missing tooth, it encourages natural bone growth.
After they’ve placed the implant, they’ll stitch up the incision in your gums. Your jaw bone and gums will then have to recover for three to six months so the jaw bone can grow around the implant.
You might have a temporary crown to make eating and smiling easier during this time.
The next step is connecting the abutment to the implant. To do this, your surgeon must make another incision in your gums. Once they’ve attached the abutment, they’ll take an impression of it to create your crown. Once they’ve finished making the crown, you’ll visit the office again so they can connect it to your implant.
What to Expect During the Surgery
With all this cutting and screwing, you might be concerned about pain. Despite what you might think, you shouldn’t feel much of anything during the surgeries. In fact, putting in a dental implant is an easier process than taking out a normal tooth.
Most dental surgeons use a local anaesthetic. While this means you’ll be awake during the surgery, you won’t feel any pain. The area in the jaw bone where the surgeon places the implant already doesn’t have many pain-sensing nerves. The only thing you’ll feel is some pressure as they screw in your implant.
If you’re worried about your dental implant surgery, there are several sedative options that can help you feel more comfortable.
What to Do After the Surgery
Remember, the dental implant process is a major dental surgery. You will need a fair amount of time to recover from this procedure, but the pain should be minimal.
For the first few days after the surgery, you’ll notice some discomfort. This might manifest in the cheeks, chin, jaw, or under the eyes. Bruising around the gums and visible bruising on your skin is normal. You might experience pain or bleeding at the site of the implant. You should be able to manage these symptoms without a problem. Your surgeon will recommend minor painkillers, like Ibuprofen, and ice packs can help reduce any swelling.
You will need to ensure you eat only soft foods for 10 to 14 days after each part of the implant process. You can also clean the implant site with warm salt water. This will bathe the tissues and provide pain relief.
Do the Specific Materials Matter?
The pieces of your dental implant can be made from many different types of materials, but the materials don’t matter as much as your dentist. Your dentist should be a reputable professional with a good track record. Though you don’t have to do extensive research on the materials of your implant, you should make sure your dentist is working with a high-quality manufacturer.
The most important thing is making sure you get someone you can trust for your dental implant process.
Are you still looking for someone to help you with your implant? Contact The Mall Manchester on 0161 830 7300 to find out how we can help you.