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What to Expect When You’re Getting Dental Implants

Making the choice to replace your missing or failing teeth with dental implants is a big step.  Bringing back a healthy smile and function is made easier with dental implants.  Once you’ve decided on dental implants our team of professionals will take care of the rest.  It’s a smooth progression from the initial consultation and pre-operative planning through the implant procedure itself, concluding with your follow-up care.  When it’s done you will have the natural-looking smile and the function you’ve been looking for.

Pre-Procedure

The first step in you treatment is an initial examination and a discussion with your implant dentist about your expectations and concerns.  By the time your first meeting is over, a number of details should be clearer.  For example:  How many of your teeth are missing, ow many are in good condition, and how many are questionable?  Would you be better off with a full set of upper or lower replacement teeth or is it only one or two teeth that need to be replaced?  Do you have any medical conditions that would complicate or preclude implant placement?  What can you expect from this treatment?  How much will you expect to pay?  Not all of these questions can be answered immediately but they can be soon.

Treatment Plan

Once the diagnostic images of your mouth reveals the condition of existing teeth and bone, and show’s the position of various anatomical structures in the jaw the planning of the number and type of implants can be chosen and where they need to be placed.  Before any procedures are performed, you and your dentist will discuss what type of anesthesia or sedation will work best for you.  If you have any other questions or concerns about the procedure, this is the prefect time to raise them.

Day of Procedure

When you arrive for your procedure, you will be made comfortable with the appropriate anesthesia.  If any of your teeth need to be extracted, that will be done first.  Then the dental implants will be placed in your jaw.  This may require small incisions to be made into your gums, providing access to the bone underneath.  Next, tiny holes will be prepared at precise locations in your jawbone.  You won’t feel any pain because you will be fully anesthetized, but you may experience mild vibrations.  Your implants will then be carefully placed in the osteotomy sites and adjusted for a perfect fit.  Any incisions will be closed, typically with self-dissolving sutures.

Post-Operative Care

When the procedure is over, the healing process begins.  For the first couple of days, you will want to go easy on your new implants by eating soft foods.  Over-the-counter pain medication, like ibuprofen, is usually all that’s needed to control any soreness you may feel.  You can return to normal activities within a day or two, but your dentist may recommend a softer diet for a few weeks.  As your implants slowly become integrated into your jawbone, your dentist will carefully monitor your progress.  After a period of several  months, your gums will have fully healed and your implants will be firmly anchored into your jaw.  At that point, your final teeth will be attached to your implants.  With the same routine care you would give natural teeth, they can be expected to last for the rest of your life.

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