Dental implants can be a great way to replace missing or damaged teeth while supporting the underlying bone. However, dental implants aren’t right for everyone, and it’s important that you consider the risks, preparation, and process before deciding to get this procedure.
Your dentist in McAllen can help you decide whether or not a dental implant might be right for you during a preliminary exam. In the meantime, read on to learn the things you’ll need to know before getting an implant.
Do I Need a Tooth Implant?
Tooth implants are used to replace missing or damaged teeth and often serve as a better alternative to dentures. Tooth implants are commonly used for patients who fall into the following categories:
- Patients who are replacing one or more teeth
- Patients with missing teeth hoping to improve their speech patterns
- Patients unable or preferring to avoid wearing dentures
If you would like to move forward with a tooth implant, be sure to consult your dentist to discuss if this is a good option for your case.
What are the Risks?
The process of receiving a dental implant involves surgery, and surgery itself poses a few health risks. Although rare, complications do arise. However, they are also often minor and treatable. Common risks associated with tooth implants include the following:
- Infection — Surgeons use antiseptics and sterile techniques to avoid infection, and although it is rare, infection is possible. Most cases of infection are due to the patient not following proper post-procedure guidelines and instructions.
- Damage to the teeth or blood vessels — In order for the bone to re-grow properly, the tooth implant must be immovable for the first few weeks. If there is movement, it will cause the implant to wiggle, resulting in pain and ingrown soft tissue.
- Sinus issues — If an implant in the upper jaw extends into the sinus cavity, it can result in more frequent sinus infections or sinusitis.
- Nerve damage — Anesthetic injections, implants, and implant drills can all cause damage to the inferior alveolar nerve located in the jaw. Additional nerve damage can occur if an implantation is put in too soon after the tooth extraction.
How Do You Prepare?
- Getting a dental exam — Before surgery, your dentist will take x-rays of your mouth along with molds of your teeth and jaw.
- Reviewing your medical history — This includes any medical conditions you have, a detailed list of medication you are taking, and any heart conditions that could affect the anesthesia you are given.
- Creating a treatment plan — Your dentist will create an individualized treatment plan that is specific to your case. This treatment plan factors in how many teeth are being replaced, if your jawbone is structurally sound, and whether or not you need a bone graft.
What to Expect With Dental Implant Surgery
Dental implant surgery consists of a number of steps to ensure that the bone has enough time to regrow around the implant before a replacement can be properly installed. Different dentists may adopt their own specific techniques, but the process of installing a tooth implant generally involves the following steps:
- Removing the damaged tooth
- Preparing the jaw bone or bone grafting
- Placing the tooth implant
- Healing and allowing bone growth around the implant
- Putting the abutment in place
- Installing the false tooth
As with any surgery, the healing process is the longest stage of the dental implant procedure. For optimum results, it is important that you follow your oral surgeon’s post-procedure care instructions and call or make an appointment if you sense something is wrong.
Find Out More About Tooth Implants From Your McAllen Dentists at WhiteWing Dental!
Before having a tooth implant installed, you’re likely to have a lot of questions about the procedure itself, the recovery process, and the risks involved. This is a normal stage in the process, and your McAllen family dentists at WhiteWing Dental would be happy to answer any questions or concerns you may have.
Schedule a consultation with our team today to learn about whether or not a tooth implant might be right for you.