Tooth Implants – What to Expect

If you’ve already made the decision that getting tooth implants is right for you, you’re probably already aware of their benefits. There’s even a good chance the prosthodontist who will be handling the procedure has already talked to you about what it would involve. But with procedures like this, it’s easy to forget due to nerves or other issues. If you’re wondering just what to expect when you have tooth implants, it isn’t very hard to understand the procedure and learn exactly what will occur from beginning to end. Knowing the basics will help quell your nervousness as well. You’ll be anesthetized during the procedure, so you probably won’t be aware of what actually happens. At any rate, it begins by drilling a small hole into the jaw into which an artificial root will be inserted. If you’re having a tooth extracted but are planning on having it replaced with an implant, there’s a good chance the dentist will go ahead and insert this root while extracting the old tooth. If not, or if you’re having multiple implants, you’ll likely only be getting those done instead of an extraction as well. What happens next will depend. If you’re having a single implant, there’s a chance the dentist will load the artificial tooth onto the root immediately. But in most cases, your initial procedure will end with the application of the artificial roots. You’ll be sent home and given basic care guidelines involving the implants. Within weeks or sometimes months, you’ll be fully healed. This period of healing is so the jawbone can actually graft to the implants and make them permanent. Once that waiting period is up, you’ll be ready for the next part of the procedure. The artificial teeth will then be attached – or ‘loaded’ – onto the implanted roots. This is a much less invasive procedure and the first part of the process is more difficult. After your implants are complete, you can expect some adjustment to the sensation of eating. While they’re very similar to your real teeth, the artificial root will make it feel a little different when you’re chewing than you’re probably used to. But after you adjust, you’ll be able to really enjoy the sensation of having your new teeth and your new smile.

Dr. Hazim is a member of the American Dental Association and the Texas Dental Association. A graduate of Loyola University, Dr. Hazim has undergone continuing education at the Pankey Institute and has received accreditation from the Western Regional Examining Board.

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