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Dental implants offer a permanent solution to missing teeth, and such are the advances in technology, you can expect dental implants to last you a lifetime. If you are contemplating having the treatment, here is a brief overview of what to expect.
- The Initial Consultation – The first step is to have an experienced dentist examine you to determine whether or not getting dental implants is a possible treatment. Most dentists would be happy to carry out a free examination to ascertain whether or not your jawbone is adequate for implant surgery. A few X-Rays will help the specialist evaluate the jawbone structure, and while most people can have the treatment, those with thin jawbones do not have adequate foundations to hold the titanium pins that are inserted. The scope of the work would also be a factor, which could involve anything from a single tooth to a complete upper and lower set.
- Following the Dentist’s Instructions – This might include starting a course of antibiotics a few days before the treatment, and eating a good breakfast on the day of the procedure. It is also a good idea to have someone with you to drive you home after the treatment, as you might still be drowsy from the anaesthetic.
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- The First Phase – There are two main phases of dental implants, the first being to insert the titanium pins that will anchor the implant in place. This involves the dentist making an incision into the gums to reveal the jawbone, and a special drill is used to create the cavity for the titanium pin(s), and once these are inserted, it takes a month or two for the bone to fuse with the inserts.
- The Second Phase – This is when the dentist attaches the prosthetic tooth to the titanium pin, and once firmly in place, the prosthetic tooth or teeth can be fitted. While you wait for the implants to fuse with your jawbone, the dentist will be preparing the crown(s), which are made to blend perfectly with your existing teeth.
- The Crown Placement – Once the dentist is satisfied that the pins are solid, the last part of the treatment is to attach the crown to the pin. A single tooth would have a single pin, while multiple teeth might have as many as four pins that are strategically placed to take the strain.
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The whole treatment can take anything from 3 months to a year to complete, and when the treatment is over, you will experience minor discomfort as you become acclimatised to a foreign object in your mouth. Dental implants can be brushed and flossed in the same way as your regular teeth and should last you for many years. Depending on the quality of the crown, it might need to be replaced after 10-15 years, due to normal wear and tear.
If you would like to explore the potential that dental implants offer, make sure you see a dentist with considerable experience in this field, and if you need some help locating such a dental practice, Google is your best friend.