Teeth are a vital part of your daily life. They help you chew and digest food. They shape your face and assist you when speaking. They allow you to do so with clarity. Losing your teeth will affect your self-confidence and make it hard to perform these tasks.
Various replacement methods can help you chew your food, but they may not maintain the shape of your face. They may also hurt your jaw and gums. Dental implants are the ideal option for teeth replacement.
They are artificial tooth roots consisting of titanium and other materials. The materials are ideal because they fuse with the jawbone and imitate the roots of your teeth. This allows the implants to function and blend with the surrounding teeth. It also ensures that your jaw stays intact and maintains the shape of your face.
Getting implants will require several appointments over several months due to the healing it requires between procedures. The steps include:
Removal of the damaged tooth or teeth
Preparing the jawbone or grafting if needed
Placement of dental implants
Healing and growth of the bone
Placement of abutment
Artificial tooth placement
The dentist needs to check the damage to your teeth and gums. While doing so, they will deal with any damaged teeth. They will also deal with periodontal disease if your gums are unhealthy.
The procedure deals with a jawbone that is softer or thinner for dental implants. It adds density and volume to it. It allows the dental implant to be stable and firm. The surgeon may remove some bone from the lower or upper jaw to replace the lost mass in the operation area, creating a solid foundation. The implants need to withstand the pressure of chewing and biting.
After the jawbone heals, you will require another surgery to place the implants. The surgeon will cut open the gum and expose the healed jawbone. At this point, they will drill a hole in the bone. The dentist will use it to place the metal post that serves as the root.
The dentist will give your jaw several months to heal. The time also allows the bone to grow and fuse with the metal post during osseointegration. It provides a solid base for the artificial tooth.
Following osseointegration, you will need additional surgery to place the abutment. The piece connects the post to the artificial tooth or crown. The surgeon reopens the gum and attaches the abutment to the metal post. The gum tissue closes around the abutment to allow the placement of the artificial tooth.
After two weeks of healing, you can get your artificial tooth or teeth. These can be removable or fixed teeth depending on your need or preference.
After the procedure, you may experience bruising, surgical site pain, minor bleeding, or swelling. Each is typical and not a cause for alarm. The dentist will give you some antibiotics and pain medication to deal with it. Follow their instructions and contact them if the symptoms persist.
For more information on dental implants, call Glacier Dental at (907) 222-6000 to reach one of our offices in Anchorage, Alaska.