So, you lost a tooth. No matter how tooth loss happened, a gap in your smile is a ding to your confidence.
Luckily, you don’t have to come to terms with your tooth loss. It can be repaired.
A dental implant can provide unparalleled restoration; once placed, it will seem like tooth loss never even happened. These small, titanium “artificial tooth roots” are the gold standard in tooth restoration. Even so, it’s common for patients to experience some worry or anxiety about the process. Below, we’ll talk about what to expect when you receive dental implants: how to prepare for the procedure, how we place dental implants, and the best ways to support a speedy recovery.
Titanium dental implants are proven safe and effective. But before receiving implant treatment, you should be comfortable with your dental health provider. When it comes to a local, highly experienced team in Fort Worth, choose Smile Fort Worth! Our team, led by Drs. Harlin, Wilkinson, and Collins, offers superior care and a comforting, welcoming environment when it comes to repairing and restoring the health of your mouth.
Before Your Procedure
It’s important to note: not all dental implant treatment is the same for every patient. Our dentists will work with you to create a plan that works for you and your personal situation. WE take into consideration your unique mouth structure, cosmetic goals, pre-existing conditions, and oral health.
Before placing an implant, we will thoroughly examine your teeth, gums, and jaw to make sure there is enough bone density for a successful implant placement. If your jaw bone is injured or the bone’s integrity has been weakened, you could require a bone graft before the implant is placed.
This procedure involves our dentists making a small incision in the gum to expose the underlying bone. We then supplement that area of bone by adding new bone material to it. Your body will naturally absorb this grafted material, giving you a stronger, more substantial foundation for your future implant.
Though it may sound scary, this procedure can be done in one visit and with the help of anesthetics, you likely won’t experience any pain during the process. If we determine you do need a bone graft, it will need to completely heal before an implant can be placed; this often takes several months. We know waiting can be difficult, but it’s important not to derail the body’s natural healing process.
We also check for any infection of the soft tissues, dental decay, or other issues that could affect how well your implant integrates with your mouth once placed. If there are other restorative treatments needed, we may need to treat them before beginning implant treatment.
How We Place Dental Implants
An implant is placed in just one office visit. Once you are in the dental chair, your dentist will numb your mouth and jaw. If you are feeling especially anxious, let us know; your mental well-being (not just your physical health) is important to us! We can provide sedatives like nitrous oxide to help you feel more relaxed during the procedure.
Once you’re fully numb, your dentist will make a tiny incision in the gum to expose the jaw bone. He will then insert a titanium implant into the jaw. Once firmly placed, your dentist will stitch up the incision. The process should take just about an hour for one implant. Depending on your treatment, your dentist may also place a temporary crown on the implant.
The Healing Begins
Before you leave our office, our team will give you detailed instructions for how to care for your mouth after treatment. For the most part, patients can eat and drink soft foods within an hour and can begin having a more solid diet in just a day or two. Minor pain or soreness is normal and can usually be managed by over-the-counter pain medications.
While recovery may take just a couple days, the real healing process takes a little longer. Under the gums, your implant is slowly integrating into your jawbone through a biological process called osseointegration. This is when the jaw bone tissues accept the titanium implant and actually develop and grow around it, strengthening its hold. It’s because of this process that implants are so successful at restoring a loss tooth; for most patients, an implant will never need to be replaced.
Finishing the Restoration
After a few months, once your dentist determines the implant is fully integrated with your jaw, the final step of restoration begins. Your dentist will first place tiny “caps” called abutments. These connect the implant to whatever restoration will be visible in the mouth — either a dental crown, bridge, or dentures. Impressions of your smile or 3D images are sent to a dental lab where technicians create your custom restoration. Once your crown, bridge, or dentures are complete, they are attached to the abutment and your smile is good as new.
Dental Implants from Local Fort Worth Dentists
Gaps in your smile don’t just affect your confidence; they can affect your oral health, too. If you have lost a tooth — either from extraction or an injury — dental implants are the best way to restore a healthy, strong, and natural-looking smile. To learn more about dental implants and discover if you are a candidate for the procedure, contact Smile Fort Worth. Our practice would be happy to help you learn more about the procedure or provide a cost estimate.
Plan Your Next Visit to Our Office.