Worried About Dental Implants? We’ll Put Your Fears to Rest!
When it comes to dental care, few things present as much concern in the minds of patients as dental implants. Those who are unfamiliar with the process worry about things like the surgical and healing processes, pain, recovery time, cost and more.
However, this doesn’t need to be the case. The more you know about this type of dental care, the less you’ll need to worry and the more confident you can feel in obtaining this service. Here’s what you can expect if you choose to go this route with your dental care:
Before doing anything else, your prosthodontist or oral surgeon will need to determine whether or not you are an eligible candidate for dental implants. Because the implants are installed directly into your jawbone, you will need to have enough bone there to support the implant.
During this preliminary phase, your dentist will also take a mold of your mouth so that he or she can determine the correct size and shape for your implants. This process is mostly just uncomfortable and should not cause you any pain.
The Surgery Itself
Although putting in implants is considered surgery, it is a very minor and common one. In most cases, your oral surgeon can complete the procedure using only local anesthesia. Many people describe the sensation of having the implants drilled as fairly similar to having a cavity filled.
Because the pain relief is localized, you won’t experience any physical impairment and will be able to drive yourself home after the procedure. You should expect the process to take no more than two hours for a single implant, although it can take longer if you are having multiple teeth done.
After the implant has been put into place, you’ll need to wait for it to heal before a false tooth can be attached. Typically, this takes one to two weeks, but everyone is different, so yours may take slightly longer or shorter to heal. Once your dentist has confirmed that the implant has set into your jawbone, your new tooth can be permanently attached. You can also opt for a removable crown if you prefer.
Recovery and Healing
As mentioned above, the healing of the implant typically takes one to two weeks. When you first leave the oral surgeon, the implant site will be packed with gauze to prevent excessive bleeding. You’ll want to leave the gauze in place for at least an hour before gently removing it. If you are still experiencing bleeding, you can repack the area with fresh gauze.
Especially during these early stages of cleaning, it is crucial that you keep your mouth clean. You are free to brush your teeth, but take extra care to be extremely gentle around the implant site. Rinsing your mouth with salt water after eating will also help.
Try to stick to soft foods at first to avoid injuring the implant site. Things like mashed potatoes, soup, and ice cream go down easily. If you are a smoker, try to avoid smoking for at least the first 24 hours, longer if possible.
This is an area that causes the most concern for many dental care patients. The total cost for each implant, including the crown, is typically between $3,000 and $5,000. In some cases, your dental or medical insurance may cover a portion or all of the cost of the procedure, so be sure to discuss this option with your practitioner well in advance of the procedure. You may also be able to enter into a payment plan to help spread the costs out over time.
For more information about dental implants and if you might need one yourself, book an appointment with Stefan Dental today!