Missing or damaged teeth can impact people’s smiles and overall dental health, especially if the affected teeth cause pain or become infected, but dental implants can replace these teeth and eliminate certain oral health issues. Before patients seek out this procedure, it can be important to understand how anesthesia may be used to avoid any…
An Oral Surgeon Discusses Dental Implant Surgery
An oral surgeon is an oral health professional that can perform a number of procedures ranging from tooth extraction to tooth replacement. One popular tooth-replacement option is dental implant surgery, which involves a few steps. Dental implants are one of the more modern and innovative ways to replace teeth that are missing or on their way to being lost.
When it comes to having dental implants placed, it is necessary to understand that the procedure is rather invasive. Because of this, the expertise of an oral surgeon is typically required. The training that oral surgeons undergo is longer than that of a general dentist, which is what makes them great resources to utilize when needing to replace teeth.
When considering different tooth-replacement options, it can be helpful to review the following information.
An overview of dental implant surgery from an oral surgeon
Below is an overview of dental implant surgery, which is performed by an oral surgeon. Read on to find out more about the process and what to expect from this procedure.
The dental implant procedure
Dental implants refer to small surgical posts that are made of titanium. Titanium is a popular material used in dentistry because it is biocompatible, which means the body rarely rejects it. They are embedded into the jawbone in order to replace a tooth's roots and support system. Oral surgeons typically recommend dental implants over any other tooth-replacement option because they stimulate bone growth, which cannot be said about dentures or bridges.
Prior to the procedure, the oral surgeon will administer a local anesthetic. General anesthesia is also an option for those patients who have dense bone structure, severe dental anxiety, or if multiple teeth need to be replaced at one time.
From there, the gums and bone beneath will be opened by a very tiny incision. The oral surgeon will then place the dental implants precisely into the incisions. To finish the procedure, the gums will be stitched closed using dental sutures.
The implant process
The dental implant process is not just a one-time procedure. Instead, the patient is required to visit the oral surgeon a couple more times afterward. After a few months of healing from the placement of the dental implants, the patient will return to the oral surgeon for the minor procedure of abutment attachment. Abutments connect the dental implants to the artificial teeth, whether it be dental crowns or implant-supported dentures. This part of the process is usually done midway through the osseointegration process, which is what happens when the implants fuse with the bone. A few months later, the patient may be able to visit their regular dentist to complete the process, which involves the placement of the actual artificial teeth on top of the implants.
Once the dental implant process has been completed, it may be advised to visit the oral surgeon for a follow-up appointment. The oral surgeon can check the implant site to ensure that osseointegration is taking effect properly. Additionally, the oral surgeon will check to make sure that proper healing has taken place.
Things to know about the dental implant process
It can be helpful to know that the dental implant process does take time and patience. Oral surgeons require a thorough consultation and evaluation prior to getting started to ensure that the patient is confident in their time commitment and ability to undergo surgical procedures. While the process is lengthy, the results are worth it. Dental implants allow for the support of very natural-looking artificial teeth. Additionally, as stated earlier, they do support bone regeneration, which is often lost when there are missing teeth.
Having dental implants placed can be daunting because oral surgery is required and because the loss of natural teeth can be disheartening. However, oral surgeons will walk the patient through the entire process from start to finish to help reduce any anxieties that may arise. Dental anxiety is common, especially in regard to oral surgery. Thankfully, there are resources available to reduce or eliminate this anxiety. Additionally, the oral surgeon can go over options when it comes to dealing with pain management.
Consult with an oral surgeon
When considering dental implants, it is a good idea to consult with an oral surgeon to learn more. Additionally, an evaluation can be done in order to determine how long the process may take.
Reach out today to find out more or to get started with a consultation appointment.
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