Are you thinking about getting dental implants? If you have missing teeth, an experienced Jacksonville dentist can explain everything you need to know about the tooth replacement process.
For the moment, though, you might simply want to understand what it will take to get a gap-free grin. To put it briefly, dental implant placement is a simple and quick procedure that involves little to no pain and a rather easy recovery. However, before moving forward with tooth replacement, you’ll need a professional evaluation. Here, the River Oaks Dental team explains what to expect.
Evaluation for Dental Implants
The first step is to find a trusted Jacksonville dentist with skill and expertise in implant dentistry – which you’ve already done, as you found River Oaks Dental. Now, you need to schedule a professional consultation.
While most people with missing teeth can get dental implants, certain issues must be taken into consideration during the tooth replacement process. After discussing your medical history and conducting a thorough oral examination, the dentist will determine the next step to restoring your smile.
If your oral health is up to par and you appear to have no dental problems, you’ll undergo a cone beam computed tomography (CT) scan. This takes just a minute or two, but the thousands of three-dimensional images created take the guesswork out of dental implant placement. Using the 3-D imaging data, a surgical guide can be fabricated with a 3-D printer – and using that during the procedure allows for unparalleled accuracy and precision.
Procedures to Prepare for Dental Implants
During your oral examination or after seeing the 3-D imaging data, the dentist may discover an issue that must be addressed before proceeding with dental implant placement. If you’re like many people in Jacksonville, you might need to undergo:
Tooth extraction — If you have one or more teeth that are severely decayed or deteriorated, they may need to be removed. While dentists often prefer to restore the natural teeth, extraction can be the right choice for any that are too damaged to save.
Periodontal therapy – Gum disease doesn’t make you ineligible for implants, but in that event, treatment to restore gum health is essential prior to tooth replacement. Scaling and root planing or antibiotic therapy can help ensure long-term implant survival.
Bone grafting – Dental implants need a solid foundation of bone for support, and missing teeth often result in jawbone degeneration. If your bone density is insufficient, a grafting procedure can provide the necessary stability for successful tooth replacement.
None of these are complex or time-consuming procedures – and your Jacksonville dentist will make sure you’re comfortable while the dental work is being completed. And if you’re anxious, nitrous oxide (laughing gas) or oral sedation can keep you relaxed. In any case, preliminary treatments are carefully planned to ensure minimal discomfort and recovery time.
Dental Implant Placement
When you’re ready for tooth replacement, your Jacksonville dentist will lay the groundwork for safe and effective dental implant placement. Using the results of the cone beam CT scan, the procedure is planned digitally and a surgical model is made.
This model, which is printed out of a medically safe, biocompatible resin material, is the reason implant placement is such a quick and simple procedure. It’s designed to rest on the teeth for support, and has an opening that designates the precise position, angle and depth to place the dental implant.
The day of tooth replacement, your dentist will thoroughly numb the area with a local anesthetic. As we mentioned, laughing gas and oral sedation are available, and either could help you enjoy a comfortable and relaxed dental experience. In any case, since all of the planning has been done in advance, the procedure will be complete in almost no time. After the dentist places the implant, adds a couple of dissolvable stitches and completes an x-ray to confirm the positioning, you’ll be on your way.
Recovery after Tooth Replacement
With a highly skilled and experienced Jacksonville dentist, you won’t need much downtime after dental implant placement. In our experience here at River Oaks Dental, patients are usually able to resume their normal routines the next day.
Will you be in any pain? Mild discomfort is to be expected after any dental procedure, but for most, it’s easily managed with ice packs and over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like aspirin, naproxen or ibuprofen. Complications during recovery are rare, but if you experience increasing pain in the days following implant placement or have any other concerns, contact your dentist immediately. With prompt attention, most complications can be resolved without resulting in any serious or long-term problems.
After reading everything above, you should have a better idea of what the process for getting dental implants involves – but you might still have a few questions. The River Oaks Dental team would be happy to provide you with answers, and you’ll be in good hands with Dr. Monteiro taking charge of your tooth replacement. Her skill, knowledge and experience in implant dentistry along with specializations in cosmetic, restorative and sedation dentistry increase the odds of success.