Dental Implants 101: Everything You Need to Know Before the Procedure

Dental Implants 101: Everything You Need to Know Before the Procedure

Dental Implants 101: Everything You Need to Know Before the Procedure

Dental Implants 101: Everything You Need to Know Before the Procedure

Dental implants are artificial tooth roots, similar in shape to screws. When dental implants are placed in your jawbone, they bond with your natural bone. They become a sturdy base for supporting one or more artificial teeth, called crowns.


Dental implants are the closest you can get to healthy, natural teeth. They allow you to live the way you want to – confidently eating, smiling, laughing, talking, and enjoying all of your regular activities without worrying about your teeth.


The Need for Dental Implants


Tooth loss can occur due to various reasons – decay, gum disease, or injury. Regardless of the reason, losing a tooth can have significant effects on both your oral health and self-confidence. Dental implants restore both the lost tooth and the root, which helps maintain the health of your jawbone while providing a strong foundation for the replacement tooth.


Dental implants are a long-term solution. Traditional, tooth-supported dental bridges only last five to seven years, and with proper care often more than ten years, but at some point, they may need to be replaced. While dental implants may need periodic adjustments, they can last a lifetime when properly placed and cared for over time.


Lastly, dental implants are incredibly versatile. Whether you've lost one tooth or many, dental implants can provide an effective solution. They can replace a single tooth, be used to support a dental bridge for the loss of multiple teeth, or even provide a full set of new teeth.


The Procedure: What to Expect


Preparing for dental implants involves a series of steps. First, a comprehensive dental exam is needed. This generally includes dental X-rays and 3D images, and sometimes models made of your teeth and jaw.


Next, your medical history is reviewed. It's crucial to tell your doctor about any medical conditions you have and any medications you're taking, including prescription and over-the-counter drugs and supplements. If you have certain heart conditions or orthopedic implants, your doctor may prescribe antibiotics before surgery to help prevent infection.


Finally, a treatment plan is tailored to your situation. This plan takes into account factors such as how many teeth you need to have replaced and the condition of your jawbone. Your dentist will discuss with you the best course of action and help you understand each step of the procedure.


After the initial consultation, the titanium implant is surgically placed into the bone and allowed to heal and integrate itself onto the bone for up to six months. During this healing time, you can have temporary crowns installed so that you can eat and speak normally and maintain a proper aesthetic appearance for your smile.


Once the implant has bonded to the bone, the surgical cap is removed and a healing collar or a temporary crown is placed onto the implant. After a few weeks, the healing collar is removed, the abutment is attached to the implant and the new permanent replacement tooth (or teeth) is fitted onto the post. This creates a strong, sturdy, and stable system that behaves much like a natural tooth.


Caring for Your Dental Implants


After the surgery, it's essential to take good care of your dental implants to ensure their longevity. Brushing and flossing are just as important with dental implants as with natural teeth. Regular check-ups with your dentist are also critical as they can spot any potential problems early.


Additionally, you should also avoid harmful habits such as chewing hard items (like ice and hard candy) and using tobacco products. These can damage your implants and make them less effective.


As with natural teeth, your implants should last for a long time if you take care of them well. Most people experience a significant improvement in their oral health and self-confidence after getting dental implants.


Ensure a Smile Worth the Investment


Dental implants provide a strong, permanent solution for tooth loss. While the procedure might seem daunting, knowing what to expect can help alleviate any anxiety. Dental implants require a significant investment of both time and money, but they are a long-term solution that can enhance your quality of life.


If you're considering dental implants, visit MAC Family Dentistry at our office in Mandeville, Louisiana. Call 985-238-3797 to schedule an appointment today.

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