Patients can find optimal restorative benefits if they choose tooth replacement with dental implants. These fixtures can fill gaps in a patient’s smile, restore oral function, and prevent further issues related to tooth loss. Unlike removable appliances, fixed dental implants will also protect the jawbone, which can deteriorate with the loss of a tooth root.
These patients should realize that they will not see instant results from this treatment. They will need to see their dentist for more than one appointment before the process is complete.
But the results can last for two decades, which many people find worth the wait. Read on to find an outline of what you can expect when you undergo tooth replacement treatment using dental implants.
Dental Health Evaluation
Before pursuing implant dentistry, your dentist will want to evaluate your existing smile. Not every patient will qualify for implant treatment. Your dentist will check that you have enough healthy jawbone and gum tissue to sustain an implant.
They will also consult with you in this initial appointment to determine if dental implants will help you accomplish your unique smile goals. They will ask you if you prefer a fixed oral appliance to replace your missing teeth.
At this time, they will help you decide which type of implant will suit your smile too. You can receive a single implant, an implant-supported bridge, or an All-on-Four implant, depending on your desired results.
Surgical Placement of Anchors
The first step in receiving dental implants is oral surgery. During this first procedure, your dentist will place titanium post anchors into the jaw. You will need a few months to recover from this procedure. During this time, the anchors will fuse to the jawbone for optimal support.
Your dentist can give you all the anchors you need within this one procedure. Whether you require one implant or several, you can complete this step in one session with your dentist. They can provide local anesthetic and sedation medication to ensure you feel comfortable during your surgery.
Securing Prosthetic Teeth to the Implant
After you heal from the anchor placement, you will return to your dentist to receive your prosthetic teeth. You can get a crown, bridge, or denture, depending on which type of implant you need.
The dentist will secure the prosthetic teeth to an abutment attached to the anchor above the jawline. Once screwed into place, you cannot remove the fixture yourself. It will remain in your smile for twenty or more years with proper care or unless taken out by a dentist.
Patients appreciate that the dental implant will not slip out of place at inopportune moments like a removable appliance might. The implant also replaces teeth below the gumline, providing additional restorative benefits. This way, you can preserve the health of the jawbone and the shape of your face and smile. Ask your dentist whether implant dentistry can restore your smile after tooth loss.