For individuals living with missing teeth or dealing with unsteady dentures, learning about dental implants can be life-changing. After all, dental implants have a 98% success rate, look completely natural, and allow patients to live normal lives without having to think about the appearance of their smile.
However, once you’ve learned about dental implants, it’s not uncommon to stop and think: “Okay, dental implants seem great, but what am I getting myself into? What is involved and what’s the commitment?”
The first step is to schedule an initial consultation with an experienced periodontist in the Poway area. Tina Beck D.D.S, M.S. of Southern California Periodontics & Implantology will complete a thorough oral health evaluation, answer any questions you have, and determine whether dental implants are right for you. If you are found to be a good candidate for dental implant surgery, you can expect a process similar to the one listed below.
What to Expect During and After Dental Implant Surgery
Most patients find dental implant surgery to be virtually pain-free (with the help of local numbing anesthesia) and much easier than they imagined. During dental implant surgery, your doctor places a small post (the implant) into the upper or lower jaw bone. The post replaces the root and becomes a solid anchor for your replacement tooth. Once the implant or implants are in place, the gum tissues are stitched up and the surgery is complete.
Pain or discomfort is usually very minor during the first few days after surgery and can be managed with an anti-inflammatory medication like ibuprofen. Some doctors also prescribe antibiotics to ensure the gums heal properly.
Dr. Beck examines patients in Poway within two weeks of the surgery and then follow-ups continue periodically (4-6 weeks post-surgery) until the site of your dental implant is completely healed. After this period, you will have occasional check-ups and cleanings.
Of course, taking care of your dental implants needs to be a top priority for the rest of your life. When dental implants are properly cared for, patients have a greater chance of making sure their implants last a lifetime. The care, however, is nothing you wouldn’t normally be doing — brushing, flossing, and using mouthwash every day and scheduling professional teeth cleanings at least twice a year. Dental implants can be slightly trickier to clean than natural teeth, so professional cleanings are of the utmost importance.
You will find that dental implants are worth the investment and that any discomfort is minimal and will disappear quickly. The healing period is relatively quick, but the positive effects can last for your entire life if you take proper care of your implants.
If you are interested in learning more about dental implants, contact Dr. Beck of Southern California Periodontics & Implantology in Poway today to schedule a consultation by calling (858) 635-6700.