Did you lose a tooth and are considering your tooth-replacement options? Or have you already lost a tooth and realizing that you desire a more permanent tooth restoration than a denture? If so, then you are likely considering obtaining dental implants. Dental implants have become very popular today as permanent tooth replacement options. However, you likely have some questions about just how the implant procedure works and when it is optimal to obtain a dental implant after having a tooth extracted.
Read on to learn the top 5 things to know about dental implant surgery, which may answer some of your questions.
- It is Ideal to Get a Dental Implant ASAP After Losing a Tooth
If your tooth was already extracted due to extensive decay or injury, then you may not realize that the longer you wait to obtain a dental implant, the more extensive the procedure may be.
Why? After you lose a tooth, the jaw bone that supports the tooth is no longer stimulated by chewing and begins to be absorbed by your body. Since dental implants need plenty of healthy jaw bone tissue to support them, waiting too long to obtain your implant could lead to you needing bone grafting where the dental implant post will be placed due to loss of natural bone tissue that could have been avoided if you had obtained your dental implant sooner.
- A Dental Implant Is the Only Tooth Replacement Option That Prevents Bone Absorption
While dentures and bridges replace a missing tooth visually, they don’t lead to stimulation of the jaw bone above or below them while you are chewing. This causes jaw bone loss that is irreversible without grafting.
After you have a dental implant placed, your jaw bone will continue to be stimulated, like it was when you had your natural tooth, which prevents bone loss in your jaw.
- No Preparation of Adjacent Teeth Is Needed When Placing a Dental Implant
If you currently wear a denture to replace a single missing tooth and are looking into your more permanent options, then you may be deciding between an oral bridge and a dental implant.
While both procedures have their advantages, when an oral bridge is placed, the two teeth next to the tooth that is currently missing will have to be shaved slightly and covered in crowns.
When placing a dental implant, your dentist doesn’t have to prepare the adjacent teeth in this fashion.
- Dental Implant Surgery is Pain-Free
If you are worried that obtaining a dental implant will be very painful, then realize that dentists today take many steps to keep patients extremely comfortable during the entire implant procedure.
Typically, only local anesthesia is needed to numb the area of your mouth where the dental implant post will be placed, and this prevents any pain. If you experience dental anxiety, then most dentists today also offer mild sedatives to ease your dental anxiety.
- Your Implanted Tooth will Look Completely Natural
You may wonder if everyone will know you have a dental implant when they look at your smile after you have one placed. The truth is that no one will even know you have one unless you tell them.
The dental implant post will not be visible when you smile, since it is embedded in your jaw bone where your natural tooth root once was. The crown of the tooth will be expertly crafted and colored to match your natural teeth.
If you are considering obtaining a dental implant to replace a missing tooth or replace a tooth your dentist has told you needs extracted soon, then keep these five facts in mind as you make your final decision.