The absence of one, a few, or all teeth can have a serious negative effect on a person’s appearance and overall well-being. Our teeth serve two essential functions - eating and speaking. In order to eat and digest solid foods, a person must be able to bite and chew food properly.
Similarly, in order to pronounce certain words, the tongue must touch the back of the teeth. The presence of pearly white, healthy and strong teeth improves a person’s appearance and leaves a long-lasting impression on others. It boosts a person’s confidence and enhances their facial features.
But due to several genetic and environmental factors, people can be affected by missing teeth or may lose a few or all of their teeth. For example, people who have poor oral health and hygiene are more susceptible to bacterial infections and tooth decay which can lead to teeth loss. Accidents that impact the face, such as sports injuries, car accidents, and major falls. These can all cause the teeth to break and come loose.
Rare genetic disorders like anodontia, hypodontia, and oligodontia all affect the growth and development of permanent teeth. This results in missing teeth, giving the affected person an unusual smile.
In order to restore a person’s smile and allow them to eat and speak with ease, dentists recommend replacing the missing or lost teeth with either dental devices like dentures, crowns, bridges or with the help of dental surgeries like dental implants.
What are Dental Implants?
Dental implants are metallic screws that are most commonly made of titanium and are inserted inside the jawbone to act as artificial roots for the new teeth that will be fixed to replace the missing or broken ones. Dental implants usually have a small extension on the top known as the abutment. This protrudes out of the gum tissue and holds the implant-supported tooth in place.
Dental Implant Surgery
Before the dental implant surgery, the surgeon will take multiple scans to evaluate the strength and volume of your jawbones. The dental implant surgery is performed only on those patients that have a strong and voluminous jawbone.
During the dental implant surgery, the surgeon will first remove the gum tissue to access the jawbone that is present underneath. Using a dental drilling machine, a small hole will be drilled inside the jawbone, which will be around 2 to 3 millimeters in diameter. The dental implant will be inserted inside the hole, and will be stitched back together.
After the dental implant surgery, you will be sent back home. The process of osseointegration, which is fusion of a dental implant with the jawbone, takes approximately 3 to 4 months. During this time, your surgeon will place a crown on top of the abutment to temporarily hide the metal extensions. After the successful osseointegration of the dental implant, the surgeon will remove the crown and fix a custom-made replacement tooth on top of the abutment.
Along with a dental implant, your new teeth will look and feel just like real teeth.
Dental Implant Care
Dental implants have a 97% long-term success rate. It is considered to be the most advanced, effective, and permanent method of tooth replacement.
Patients prefer dental implants as compared to dentures, dental crowns, and bridges most because once the teeth have been fixed on the abutments, they do not require any special care or maintenance. They are permanently fixed to the jawbone and can be brushed and flossed just like your real teeth. If your jawbone is weak or you are experiencing bone loss, we may need to perform a bone graft.
Right after the dental implant surgery, you will have to take the necessary care to prevent the wound from being infected. Your surgeon will give you a list of foods and drinks that should be avoided to ensure that the surgical site heals well. For instance, you will be asked to avoid solid foods for at least a week and consume a diet of liquids and semi-solid foods. You will also be advised to avoid acidic and spicy foods.
Instead of brushing near the surgical site, you will be advised to rinse your mouth with mild mouthwashes or saltwater solution. This will remove the bacteria without impacting the wound. You can also use clean gauze to wipe the surgical site.
It is important to note that you are not allowed to touch the abutment with your finger as this could lead to internal bleeding and blood clotting. You must take the prescribed antibiotics and analgesics to avoid infection and reduce any pain and discomfort.
It takes about six weeks for the wound to heal completely. During this time, you must take the necessary precautions to avoid infections and complications.
At Madison Oral Surgery & Dental Implants our team of expert oral surgeons includes and . Call us today at (608) 960-7650 to receive a safe and successful dental implant surgery.