Understanding Dental Implants in 4 Simple Stages

iStock_000022865283LargeUnderstanding Dental Implants in 4 Simple Stages

When missing teeth are your concern, dentists provide the best treatment plan possible. If you are not already familiar with dental implants, you soon will be. Leaving an empty space (created by a missing tooth or teeth) is not a good choice when it comes to long-term oral health. A slew of additional problems are inevitable without some sort of restoration. Because dental implants fill the gap from the jaw bone to the crown on top, it is the favorite restoration treatment to prevent further troubles.

Stage 1 – Dental Implant Consultation

The first stage consists of a dental exam. It is important for the dentist to examine your overall oral health before dental implants are determined the best restoration treatment. During this exam, a dentist will often use x-rays and/or computer scans to study the health of bone and gum tissue, ask questions about personal oral hygiene habits and discuss your commitment to the aftercare. If the dentist does determine that dental implants are an option, the dentist will spend time describing the procedure, how long it will take and what to expect in the outcome. It is important that you are comfortable throughout the process of dental implant restoration.

Stage 2 – The Dental Implant Procedure

The dental implant procedure typically occurs over a series of several office visits. Once the consultation is complete, you will be scheduled to come back so the dentist can attach the implant into the living bone. It is important to allow the new implant to integrate into the jaw bone for a period of several weeks up to a few months (varies with each patient). Dentists may schedule an appointment for you to come in and check on the healing process. Oral health and good aftercare on your part are important at this stage of the process. Once the implant is securely set into place and the area is fully healed, the dentist will move forward with attaching the permanent crowns atop the implants.  These artificial teeth are as strong as real teeth and will support a healthy bite with a natural aesthetic look.

Stage 3 – Recovery and Care in-between visits

The biggest recovery concern occurs within the dental implant process itself. It is important to follow the dentist’s directions to care for the treated area while the bone and gums heal. Stick to soft foods for the first week or two after the implant procedure and follow cleaning guidelines diligently to reinforce optimum healing.

Stage 4 – Long-Term After Care

Living with dental implants resembles life with all your original teeth. There are no diet limitations or concerns about the implant affecting adjacent teeth. Flossing and brushing remain important to keep the area healthy, but at least you will not have to worry about cavities with the artificial tooth. Smokers are advised to quit so the tooth area remains healthy.

Call Steier Dental Implants and Prosthodontics for more information on dental implants. You can once again have a healthy bite when missing teeth are replaced by dental implants.

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