When it comes to tooth replacement options, dental implants are the only solution that is permanent. These implants are screw-like items, made from titanium, that are placed into the jawbone by a dental professional. They serve as both tooth roots and feature dental crowns that feel, appear, and function like your natural teeth. The dental implant surgery is a procedure that occurs in multiple stages in an outpatient setting. Overall, it takes roughly six months to complete, depending on several factors like whether tooth extraction is needed, the number of teeth that need to be replaced, and your overall oral health. If you are contemplating dental implant surgery, here is what you need to know about the procedure.

Preparation for the Procedure

Your dental professional will request that you use a special antibacterial mouthwash to rinse your mouth before the procedure. Antibiotics may also be required for several days before the procedure to help prevent an infection from forming. If you receive oral or IV sedation during the surgery, you will need to ensure you have someone who can take you home following the procedure. In addition, you will need to avoid consuming any food or beverages after midnight the night before the surgery.

Application of the Implant

Once local anesthesia and the necessary sedation has been administered, your dental professional will make an incision in your gums, which will expose the jawbone where the implant needs to be placed. If there is not sufficient bone for the implant or the bone is too thin or soft, a bone graft will be made and applied. A special drill will be used to make a hole in the bone to hold the implant. Once the implant has been fitted, the gum will be folded over the implant and sutured. Generally, it will take a few months for the tissue to heal and the bone to grow into the titanium implant.

Application of the Crown

Once everything has healed, a small incision will be made so that the implant is exposed and an extension can be added. The extension will be used to create an impression of the tooth and bone so a crown can be made, which will be permanent tooth use.

It is possible to experience pain at the implant site, swelling, mild bleeding, and bruising of the gums and skin during any phase of the surgical procedure. Pain medication can be prescribed, if necessary. To ensure that the implant site is not disrupted, only consume soft foods after each stage of the procedure.

For more information about the implant dental procedure, talk to a dental professional in your area.