Missing teeth can make you self-conscious about your smile and reluctant to show your teeth in public. You may avoid smiling, talking, or laughing in social situations. But beyond aesthetics, missing teeth can also misalign your bite and alter the face of your shape. Houston dental implants are an excellent way to solve this problem. A dental implant is an artificial tooth root that your dentist attaches to your jawbone to support an artificial tooth. On average, the dental implant procedure takes place over 3 to 9 months. Here is a look at the steps it involves and what you can expect from the treatment.
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Evaluation and Initial Consultation
The first stage of the dental implant procedure is the initial consultation and evaluation. During this meeting, your dentist evaluates your medical history and discusses your expected results. To ensure your safety during the procedure, your dentist will also examine your jawbone, gums, and teeth. The tests determine if you have sufficient healthy jawbone to support the implant. If you do not, your dentist may schedule a bone graft procedure. This is also the time to discuss how many implants you need and the type of anesthesia your dentist will use during the procedure.
Your dentist will have helped you choose between an endosteal implant and a subperiosteal implant. If you get the former, a technician applies the anesthetic, after which your dentist exposes the jawbone in the treatment area by cutting your gum. They drill into the bone and insert the implant. In contrast, a subperiosteal implant is not inserted into the jawbone but placed above or on it. After the procedure, you may experience minor swelling and discomfort for a few days. You can resume your normal activities the next day.
Following implant placement, you wait about 2 to 6 months for your bone to grow around the implant. This process, which involves the combining of the screw with the bone, is called osseointegration. It involves your natural jawbone forming around the implant to provide support and help it act as a tooth root. It is why dental implants are so durable and reliable teeth replacement options.
Once the bone heals around the screw, your dentist adds an abutment to the implant. This is a metal extender that holds the artificial tooth and connects it to the implant. Your dentist may add it during the implant placement stage or later in a second procedure. If it is added later, your dental surgeon may need to cut your gum again if it has grown over the implant. You will then need several weeks to heal.
Once you heal, your dentist will attach a fixed or removable replacement tooth to the abutment. Removable teeth can be detached daily for cleaning, while fixed teeth are permanently screwed or cemented to the abutment. Your new teeth should now resemble the rest of your teeth, and your bite force should be restored. If you experience discomfort, severe pain, or other worrying symptoms after tooth placement, contact your dentist promptly.
Schedule Your Dental Implant Procedure Today
Dental implants are the closest you can come to your missing permanent teeth. They are, after all, considered the gold standard of teeth replacement. In addition to restoring your smile and bite force, implants can also improve your speech patterns and prevent problems like bone loss and gum recession that follow tooth loss. If you have missing teeth, contact a certified dental surgeon to discuss dental implants as a possible solution to this problem.