Benefits of Dental Implants
- Longevity: With proper care and oral hygiene, dental implants can last for 40 years or longer.
- Jawbone Retention: When a tooth is lost, the root is lost, as well. Without stimulation from that root, the body will begin to redirect nutrients to other parts of the body, often leaving the jawbone to weaken and shrink. This is why traditional restorative options like dentures have to be occasionally refitted. With an implant, however, the jaw can retain its strength and shape.
- Full Functionality: Unlike traditional dentures, dental implants do not slip or slide while you are eating, talking, or laughing. You will be able to do everything you could do with your natural teeth and never have to worry about the implant becoming loose.
- New Confidence: Are you tired of being self-conscious about your missing teeth? With dental implants, you can regain the confidence that comes with a great smile.
What to Expect during the Procedure
Before dental implant surgery, your dentist will take you through a detailed consultation to determine if the treatment is right for you. If you are in overall good health and you have enough jawbone tissue to anchor an implant, Dr. Cenk can schedule you for placement surgery. If not, he may recommend preparatory procedures such as periodontal treatment or bone grafting to improve your candidacy. Some patients may also need to have a badly damaged tooth or teeth removed before the implant can be placed.
The surgery to place an implant is fairly simple. Your dentist will make an incision in your gums and insert the titanium implant. The incision is then stitched shut.
It is crucial to follow your dentist's instructions as closely as possible while you heal.
After the first operation, there is a three to six month healing period, during which time the implant will fuse to the jawbone through a process called osseointegration. Once your dentist determines that the implant is secure, a small connector called an abutment is attached to the implant. After the gums heal around the abutment, the finalized crown or denture can be attached.
The Recovery Process
It is crucial to follow your dentist's instructions as closely as possible while you heal. In the few days following surgery, you can expect minor swelling, bleeding, and discomfort. Based on your situation, your dentist will probably recommend applying ice packs and a regimen of over-the-counter pain medication. A soft food diet is also recommended for the first few days. Stitches are typically removed after one to two weeks.