Dental implants can give you back your teeth if they have been lost to decay or dental extractions. Some people feel apprehension about oral surgery. Learning more about your upcoming dental implant procedure can put your mind at ease. Here are some key facts that patients should keep in mind as the date of their dental implant installation approaches:
1. You may not be a good candidate for endosteal implants.
Endosteal implants are the type of implants most commonly used to replace lost teeth. Endosteal implants are placed in the jawbone, where they are eventually fused to the bone by the body's natural healing process. In order to receive endosteal implants, you will need to have a certain amount of bone mass in your jaw. Your dentist can determine this using imaging technology during your consultation. If you do not have sufficient bone mass, your dentist may offer other alternatives. People with insufficient bone mass can take advantage of bone graft procedures as well as subperiosteal implants.
2. Your body will require adequate time to heal.
Dental implant surgery involves the insertion of a titanium implant into your jaw bone or below your gum line. Bones take longer to heal than many other body parts, so patients who undergo endosteal implant surgery can expect to be fully recovered in six months. However, everybody's body is different. Some people achieve full healing in as little as four months. Additionally, people who opt for subperiosteal implants will likely heal faster. Once your dentist deems that your implant has fully healed, they will attach a crown to an abutment placed on your implant, which will serve as your prosthetic tooth.
3. General anesthesia may be available upon request.
Dental implant surgery is an outpatient procedure, which means that no hospital stay is required. In most cases, dentists choose to perform dental implant surgery using local anesthesia. The injection of lidocaine into your gums ensures that you will feel no discomfort throughout the process. However, some people are more squeamish about surgical procedures than others.
If you think you will be bothered by being conscious throughout the process, you can ask your dentist about the possibility of general anesthesia. General anesthesia will render you unconscious for the duration of your operation. However, general anesthesia brings additional risks, so your dentist will ultimately decide if you are a good candidate for this type of procedure.