Dental implants are metal posts or frames surgically positioned into the jawbone beneath your gums to provide stable support for artificial teeth. They are typically made of titanium, which is the ideal metal to use for prosthetics and oral surgery because of its compatibility with the human body. They act as a natural tooth root,…
Is Getting Dental Implants Painful?
Dental implants provide a solution to a variety of dental problems. According to WebMD, millions of Americans suffer tooth loss each year from either decay, gum disease or some type of trauma or injury. Regardless of the reason for tooth loss, dental professionals offer multiple options for replacement, thanks to the use of dental implants.
The basics of dental implants
A dental implant is a metal — usually titanium — post placed into your jawbone. They are used to replace tooth roots and serve as a secure anchor for various prosthodontics such as dentures, crowns or partials.
How do dental implants work?
Dentists place implants in either the upper or lower jawbone and even use bone grafts, if needed, to provide extra support. Completing a dental implant procedure takes several months because the jawbone has to grow around and into the titanium post. The process of fusing the jawbone with the implant is called osseointegration and, according to the Mayo Clinic, reports a whopping 98 percent success rate.
Why do people get dental implants?
People choose dental implants for a number of reasons. Most people simply prefer this option over traditional dentures or partial dentures. For one thing, dental implants are a permanent solution for tooth loss, whereas dentures or partials require replacement periodically. The implant fuses with the patient's jawbone, so it will not slip, make noise or cause damage to the gums and jaw like traditional dentures can. But the best thing is ... it also will not decay like normal teeth after installation. Dental implants provide the foundation for full or partial dentures, bridgework and individual replacement teeth. Orthodontists also use mini-implants in some tooth-straightening procedures.
Benefits of dental implants
WebMD provides the following list of dental implant benefits:
- improved self-esteem
- improved oral health
- improved speech
- improved chewing
Is the process painful?
The initial process of getting a dental implant may include bone grafting or the extraction of decayed natural teeth. If a bone graft is required, healing and strengthening time may last up to six months before placement of the implant.
Placement of the dental implant is a surgical procedure, done in an outpatient setting. The dental professional will use a local anesthetic, so patients should not have any pain during the procedure. Most providers also offer some type of sedative option for patients who suffer from dental anxiety.
WebMD reports that patients rate their pain level after the procedure as less than or equal to that of regular tooth extraction. You can expect some swelling and perhaps a little bleeding. Ice, rest and over-the-counter medications such as Advil or Tylenol generally provide sufficient pain relief, although providers can prescribe stronger medication if needed. Your dentist will probably also prescribe antibiotics and some type of oral rinse to help prevent any infection after the surgery.
Do dental implants sound like the right solution?
Dental implants are helping to make tooth replacement more successful than ever. They can be useful for multiple different tooth replacement procedures and provide a long-term solution for missing teeth. If you are exploring tooth replacement options, talk to your dentist about the benefits of dental implants today.
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