If your dentist has suggested that you have dental implants, you may be wondering what they are and what you will need to go through in order to have them put in. Because dental implants require surgery, it's a good idea for you to do your research on the procedure, and ask your dentist questions before you agree to having the implants put in. This article will give you a brief overview on the process.
Before You Decide
Having dental implants not only requires surgery, it requires more than one surgical procedure. Therefore, your dentist will require you to have a complete evaluation:
- Complete dental exam. You will have a complete dental exam that may include having X-rays and models and molds taken of your mouth and teeth.
- Treatment plan outlined. Your dentist will give you a complete treatment plan, taking into account the condition of your teeth and of your jawbone, as well as how many teeth need to be replaced.
Talk to your dentist about any medical conditions that you have, and any medications that you take. This would include prescription drugs as well as over-the-counter medicines and supplements. If you have particular conditions that warrant any concern, such as a heart condition, do disclose that information to your dentist.
The Surgery Itself
Dental implant surgery is usually performed in a few different stages as outpatient surgery, and it includes having your damaged teeth removed and having the jawbone prepare for surgery. After the jawbone is given time to heal, the dental implant's metal post will be inserted in your jawbone.
You'll most likely go through a healing process that may last for a few months. After you have completely healed, the oral surgeon will place the abutment, which is an extension of your metal post, and the crown, or artificial tooth, will be set in place.
To help control the pain during the procedures, there are a few anesthesia options available to you, including a local anesthesia or sedation. You should talk with your dentist about what option may be best for you.
The entire process can take a few months to as much of a year, depending on how much needs to be done and how your mouth heals in between each procedure. Your dental insurance may also have a timeline that you need to follow regarding payment of each procedure, so it's best to check with your insurance provider.
To learn more, contact a company like Tampa Bay Institute of Oral Surgery and Dental Implants with any questions you have.