Dental implants are a common dental treatment for replacing one or more lost teeth. Getting an implant is often a step-by-step procedure that takes place over a course of several months. The procedure includes getting a bone graft, having the implant put in, putting on a temporary tooth, and then getting a permanent crown. Here are more things to know before you get dental implants.
You're Probably Not Too Old For Implants
You can get implants at any age as an adult. Rather than age, your general and oral health determine if you're a good candidate. Implants are suitable for senior citizens who may use them for partial or full dentures as well as to replace a single tooth.
If you're interested in getting implants, visit a dentist who offers the procedure and have an evaluation of your gums and bone to see if you're a good match for the implant process.
Pain Usually Isn't An Issue
You have a local anesthetic when you have dental implants just like you get an anesthetic for any other dental procedure. If you'll have several implants put in at once or have several teeth pulled during the same visit, your dentist might recommend general anesthesia or sedation dentistry so you're more comfortable. However, a local anesthetic shot is often all that's needed to keep you free from pain.
Plus, pain after surgery can often be controlled with over-the-counter pain medications, but since everyone is different, your dentist might give you prescription painkillers to take for the first few days of your recovery.
A Bone Graft May Or May Not Be Needed
There may be a way to put in implants that allows a dentist to work with areas of thin bone. However, it's still possible you'll need to have a bone graft.
If your dentist can work around getting a graft, they probably will, since getting a bone graft prolongs the length of your treatment because the graft needs time to heal before an implant is put in.
A Dental Implant Isn't Needed For Each Tooth
You can replace more than one tooth at a time if you have a dental bridge put in that has an implant on each end or if you have implants put in to support dentures. Two implants can support multiple teeth, and this helps control the cost of getting implants when you'll be getting dentures or a bridge too.
Your dentist needs to evaluate your mouth and the amount of bone you have available when determining exactly how many implants you'll need.
Contact your dentist for more information about dental implants.