If you're missing one or more teeth, a dentist can help you fill the gaps. Left untreated, tooth loss can cause sore gums and make it difficult to eat. Fortunately, dental implants can replace teeth that have fallen out or been extracted. Here are four steps you should take during the process of getting dental implants:
1. Find out if you're a good candidate for dental implants.
Dental implants can replace missing teeth. Unlike dentures, they require no special upkeep. You don't need to remove them at night, and you can clean them the same way you clean your other teeth. However, some people are better candidates for dental implants than others. In order to receive dental implants, you need to have adequate bone matter in your jaw. This is because dental implants are placed in your jawbone, in order to provide a strong hold.
2. Clear your schedule.
In order to get dental implants, you'll have to visit your dentist for more than one appointment. That's because dental implants are actually installed in parts. At your first appointment, your dentist will surgically place the implant itself through your jawbone and gums. Once your tissue heals around the metal rod of the implant, an artificial tooth will be attached to the portion of the implant rod that protrudes above your gum line. The healing period between these appointments can allow swelling to recede, which makes for a better fit.
3. Finish your antibiotics.
You may be given antibiotics after your dental implant procedure. These antibiotics will eliminate bacteria from your system, which is beneficial during the healing process. Taking antibiotics can make you less likely to develop an infection, which could cause your body to reject the implants. Make sure to take all your antibiotics as prescribed, even if you feel fine. Discontinuing antibiotics before they're finished can create antibiotic-resistant strains of infection.
4. See your dentist if you have any problems.
Most people have no trouble with their dental implants. After the initial healing process, you should be able to use your dental implant like any normal tooth. If you experience pain or notice reddened, swollen gums around the implant site, you may have developed an infection. Call your dentist at the first sign of trouble. They can examine your mouth to make sure nothing has gone wrong with your dental implant, and they can provide additional treatment if necessary.