A few years ago, I realized that I was thinking about dental care all wrong. Instead of listening carefully to my dentist and making the necessary changes, I assumed that he was ultimately responsible for making sure that my teeth stayed healthy. Unfortunately, I developed a few serious cavities because I failed to properly brush and floss my teeth, and I knew that it was my fault. I decided to start taking notes at my dental checkups and carefully abiding by the dentist's orders. The difference was almost miraculous. This blog is all about working with your dentist to improve your result.
If you have missing teeth or damaged or severely decayed teeth or simply want to enhance your overall oral health, then talk to your dentist about how dental implants can help you reach your goals. While the process of getting implants can take months, the benefits will be well worth it. Here are some things you should know about the dental implant procedure so that you can be a more informed patient.
A dental implant is a replacement tooth, specifically a replacement root, that is made of a strong and durable metal known as titanium. This titanium "root" is called a rod. If you are getting all of your teeth replaced by implants, you will need to have them all extracted to make room for the rods. During the implant procedure, your dentist will place the metal rods into your jawbone. Over time, the rods will bond to your jawbone and act like your natural teeth.
It is important to note that prior to getting dental implants, you will need a comprehensive oral examination so that your dentist can determine if you are a candidate for implants. If you have severe periodontal disease, then you may be referred to a specialist known as a periodontist to treat your condition so that your gums and jawbone are healthy before the implant procedure begins.
The Osseointegration Process
After the dental implants have been placed into your jaw, it will take a few months before the areas are completely healed and the osseointegration (fusing) process is complete. If the dental crown is placed on the implant before the osseointegration process is complete, the rod may not be stable enough to sustain the pressure of chewing. While you are waiting for the titanium rods to fuse to your jawbone, your dentist will place a temporary crown on the rods, and once the osseointegration process is complete, permanent crowns will be affixed to the implant rod.
If you smoke cigarettes, your dentist may recommend that you try quitting during the osseointegration process. The toxins in cigarette smoke can damage the tiny blood vessels in your mouth and around your surgical sites. This can severely impair circulation and blood flow, delay the healing process, and cause an infection.
If you have problems chewing, have extensive dental decay, or are missing teeth, make an appointment with your dentist to discuss dental implants. They will guide you through the dental implant procedure and create the best treatment plan for your individual situation.
Contact a dental clinic like High Point Smile Dentistry to learn more.