In the United States, one of the most common dental treatments is for a missing tooth. This can be due to an injury or gum disease that has destroyed the jawbone and affected the nerve. We will discuss what dental implants are and how they compare to other treatment options. We'll go over some different procedures offered by Swansboro Family Dentistry to help you make a more educated decision on your treatment plan!
Why dental implants?
Dental implants are often considered the most effective treatment for missing teeth. They replace both of these things and allow you to chew naturally again, normally talk, smile without self-consciousness, and laugh freely!
The dental implant procedure is quite simple: a titanium post is surgically inserted into the jawbone where it can fuse with your bone tissue over time. Depending on how many teeth need replacement, one or more posts may be required. A porcelain "tooth crown" (cap), similar to what was used before this type of loss occurred, will then attach directly onto the metal post using small screws that adjust as the two parts bond together gradually.
Types of dental implants
There are three main types of dental implants: endosteal and subperiosteal, and zygomatic. Let's explore what they have to offer:
Endosteal implants are the most common type, and they're inserted into the jawbone using a small surgical drill. They can be used in either the upper or lower jaw and are often recommended for people who have lost bone mass in their jaw due to gum disease or aging.
Subperiosteal implants are placed on top of the jawbone rather than within it. This option is best for people with very little bone mass or who smoke cigarettes regularly (smoking decreases implant success rates). These implants are also a good choice for those who want immediate replacement teeth because they don't require any healing time after surgery.
Zygomatic implants are usually used when a person has severely damaged their jawbone, and there isn't enough bone mass remaining to support an endosteal implant. These screws are attached directly to the cheekbones to maximize the bone structure.
What to expect during the procedure and recovery time
The implant surgery is typically a one-time procedure that takes about an hour. This will vary depending on how many teeth need to be replaced and the number of implants required for each replacement tooth, but most patients go home after about 30 minutes!
As far as recovery time goes - it varies by patient too! Some people can return to work within days, while others may take up to two weeks or more before they feel comfortable chewing food again. However, you'll almost always experience pain and swelling after the surgery, which can last anywhere from several hours (if your dental surgeon gave you medication) up until your next appointment with them. Be sure to follow all post-operative instructions your dental surgeon provides to ensure a healthy and speedy recovery!
How to maintain oral hygiene after implants
Like with any other tooth, it's essential to brush and floss your dental implants regularly to keep them healthy and free of bacteria. Be sure to use a soft-bristled toothbrush and gentle circular motions when brushing around the posts - this will help keep the area clean and plaque-free!
Additionally, you'll want to rinse your mouth with salt water (or an antibacterial mouthwash) after every meal and snack. This will help remove any food particles that may have gotten stuck between your teeth or around the posts.
If you have any questions or concerns about oral hygiene after dental implants, be sure to talk to us. At Swansboro Family Dentistry dental clinic, our team is always happy to help patients feel comfortable and confident with their dental implants! Reach us on 910-421-3022, and we will be glad to answer all your questions.