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The Patient’s Guide to Dental Implant Surgery

While intimidating on the surface, getting dental implant surgery is much more common than it once was. By understanding the steps, you can also feel more comfortable in this helpful procedure.

  • Before the Procedure – Dental implants require ample and strong jaw bones. If this is not the case, a bone graft may be necessary before an implant can be done.
  • Anesthetic – to begin, a local anesthetic is used to help relax you and make the implant location completely numb. While you may still feel vibrations and pressure, the procedure should be pain-free. Communicate with your dentist during the procedure since many people have different pain thresholds.
  • Preparing the Implant Site – once numbed, the site is prepared for the implant by opening the gums and assessing the jawbone. If it is not flat and smooth, the dentist may need to use a drill to reshape it.
  • Drilling the Pilot Hole – by using a series of drills, the dentist will make the initial holes for the implant. Depending on the specific case, an alignment pin may be needed to ensure the pilot hole is straight. One it is determined that the pilot hole is straight, the hole will be made deeper while also checking to make sure that no nerves or blood vessels are interfered with.
  • Finishing the Hole – once the initial pilot hole is complete, a series of slightly larger drills are used to get it to the correct size.
  • Placing the Implant – the implant is then placed in the hole and securely tightened into position. The surgical area is closed up, and a cap is placed in the implant.
  • Healing and Osseointegration – the stitched are left in place for 7 – 10 days and then removed. If the gum begins growing over the implant, that area of growth is removed. About 3 to 6 months is given for the fusing of the bone to occur, and then a dental crown is placed on the implant.

Permanent Restoration

Once healed and stable, your dentist will add the permanent appliance, whether it is a crown, bridge or denture. Many patients are thrilled with the permanent aspect of a dental implant since it offers the confidence that an artificial tooth or teeth will not come out.

Missing a tooth or have a removable appliance that you would like to swap out? Give us a call to set up a consultation!

Three Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Skip a Dental Cleaning

A common misconception is that, if you are diligent about brushing and flossing, you won’t need to visit your dentist for your dental cleanings regularly. This isn’t true for a few reasons. Cleaning away plaque and tartar isn’t the only thing that happens at these appointments, so here are three reasons why these dental cleanings are pretty important to your dental health.

  • We can reach the places you can’t. It only takes a small amount of plaque to lead to a cavity or to irritate your gums. This can eventually lead to periodontal (gum) disease. While the surface may seem smooth, your teeth actually have countless nooks and crannies in which plaque and tartar can build up, and even the most careful and diligent brusher would not be able to reach every trace of plaque. Between the teeth and behind the molars are particularly tricky areas to reach. Plaque that is not cleaned away hardens into tartar, which can only be removed by professional tools. Your hygienist will be able to examine every space on your teeth and thoroughly clean it.
  • We can help you improve your technique. Unfortunately, people who think they have a great oral health routine can still end up with cavities and gum disease. This isn’t due to their negligence but to their technique. When you visit the dentist, your hygienist will review your home care habits with you and will be able to provide you with tips and recommendations on how to maximize the effectiveness of your oral care routine.
  • We screen you for periodontal disease and other serious conditions. Many common dental conditions are fairly easy to treat if they are caught in their earliest stages. The problem is that, at that stage, there aren’t any noticeable symptoms. It takes a trained professional – i.e., dentists and hygienists – to spot problems early on and provide treatment before they develop into something more serious.

If it’s been a while since you’ve visited your dentist, be sure to make an appointment soon to take care of your oral health.

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