When someone is missing a tooth or two, they may find themselves shying away from smiling and even avoiding some of their favorite foods. But the good news is that dental implants from your dentist in Belle Fourche can be a game-changer. These surgical implants are permanent and don’t require any soaking or any additional care than your natural teeth. However, the treatment can be intimidating, so we’re here to explain just how a dental implant is placed so you can learn what to expect.
Placing a Dental Implant
First thing first – there are multiple different types of dental implants, and which one may be right for you depends on your personal needs. The three most common types of dental implants are:
- Single-tooth implants
- Implant-supported bridge
- Implant-retained denture
All of these options are permanent solutions to missing teeth, and the procedure steps are relatively similar.
- Exam – The first thing your dentist in Belle Fourche will do is a comprehensive exam, including x-rays, to determine which implant option may be right for you and to see just how much jaw bone is available to ensure a viable implant placement.
- Prep – Once your treatment plan is ready, your dentist will prep the area. This may include extracting a damaged tooth or performing a bone graft to boost the available bone in the jaw.
- Placement – Next comes the actual placement of the implant post. This metal post will be placed into your jaw bone to form a solid foundation for your final tooth placement.
- Healing – After the post is placed, it may take a few months for the post to become fully fused with the bone. This is an important step to make sure your implant lasts.
- Crown – Once the post is ready, your dentist will place an abutment for the final crown to be placed on. The crown, the white part of the tooth, will be custom-made for a seamless, perfect smile.
Will There Be Pain?
A dental implant is typically placed under general or local anesthesia, so during the process, you shouldn’t feel a thing. During the healing process, it’s completely normal to experience some mild discomfort. Any pain can be managed by properly following your dentist’s post-op instructions as well as:
- Gently rinsing with warm saltwater
- Avoiding crunchy and hot foods
- Continuing to brush and floss your teeth while making sure to brush gently near the implant site
- Using a cold compress to help reduce swelling
Most discomfort should go away within 10-14 days. If you still experience pain after 14 days, contact your dentist in Belle Fourche to make sure everything is healing correctly and there is no infection or other cause for concern.
Dental implants can be a great solution to replace missing teeth, but they may not be right for everyone. Make sure to talk with your dentist in Belle Fourche about your options so they can make the best recommendation for you.