In the United States alone, over 156 million people are missing at least one tooth. If you’re one of them, you may be looking into tooth replacement options such as dental implants. Ensuring that you’re well-informed before undergoing treatment can make you feel more comfortable and confident about your decision. Here are some questions you can ask your dentist at your implant consultation to help you know if you’re making the right decision for your smile.
How Do I Know If I’m a Good Candidate for Dental Implants?
Patient health is one of the most important factors for implant eligibility. It’s important to start this surgical procedure with healthy gums and teeth and to correct any other oral health issues before undergoing the procedure. Your dentist will also take X-rays to see if the bone in your jaw is dense enough for implants and, if it isn’t, a bone graft may be necessary. Oral health habits such as smoking also impact a patient’s ability to have a successful procedure.
How Does the Dental Implant Procedure Work?
A dental implant procedure involves making an incision in the gums to access the jawbone. The dental implant is then placed in the jaw, and the gums are closed around it. Each implant can take up to an hour to place, and you will need to wait several months for them to completely fuse to the jawbone through osseointegration. A much shorter appointment to attach the crown, the replacement tooth, will need to be scheduled once the implant has healed fully.
How Long Does Recovery Take?
Recovery times may vary from patient to patient, but you should expect your gums to be sore for several days after the procedure. Once you start feeling better, you’ll be able to start eating regular foods again. Continue avoiding foods that are tough, sharp, sticky, crunchy, chewy, spicy, acidic, or overly hot or cold. Keep pain medicine, soft foods, and ice packs stocked up at home to make your recovery more comfortable. While you will only need a few days to a week to feel completely recovered after dental implant surgery, your jaw will continue to heal for the next 4-6 months.
If you have more questions, feel free to ask your dentist so you feel completely confident in the procedure. Soon you’ll be on your way to a fuller, more beautiful smile!
About the Author
Dr. Samir K. Rana, Dr. Maggie Rana, Dr. Shahin Ghobadi and the rest of the Comprehensive Dental team are bringing quality oral health care to the residents of Lincoln Park. They offer convenient hours to fit your busy schedule, and they are experts at replacing missing teeth to give you a more complete smile. They offer exceptional dental implant services and will always take the time to make sure you feel confident about your procedure. To learn more about dental implants and if they’re the right choice for you, call their office at (973) 633-5666 or visit their website.