If you are thinking about getting dental implants, you will know that it is a significant procedure and you will want more information about how it all works and what you can expect. There are many nervous dental patients in the UK – and to some, merely the thought of having something surgically implanted into your mouth can be a scary and intimidating thought. It does not have to be.
What is a dental implant?
The implants themselves are tiny screws, usually made of titanium. These screws are implanted into the jawbone by a highly trained dentist. The metal fuses naturally with the bone tissue in the jaw to imitate the root of a natural tooth.
How long does it take?
The treatment process will differ from individual to individual, generally based on a few factors. At a dental practice such as Adams Dental in North London, checks will include your general dental health, how many teeth are missing, which types of tooth need to be replaced and if there are any extractions required prior to the implant treatment. To place the implants, the surgery will take approximately 1-2 hours, which includes time for anaesthesia to work.
Is it painful?
There may be small amounts of discomfort, as with any type of surgery. However, local anaesthesia or intravenous dental sedation can be provided in order to eliminate any pain during the treatment. Most patients report no pain at all.
Your dentist will prescribe antibiotics for a few days before the surgery as a precautionary measure. If you are not having intravenous dental sedation, you will need to have a good meal before surgery. Your dentist will ask you to wash out your mouth with an antibacterial mouthwash, usually chlorhexidine to protect against any potential infections.
Most patients will have some small bruises and slight swelling of the gums – but nothing that can’t be helped with ordinary painkillers. You will usually be able to return to work the next day without any problems. After six to nine months, the dentist will be able to attach replacement teeth, which feel and function just like natural healthy teeth. When healed, you will soon enough be able to smile with pride.