Millions of Americans suffer from tooth loss due to poor dental hygiene, bodily diseases, or injuries. Fortunately, dental implants are a popular solution used to replace missing teeth, whether it’s a single tooth or a full row of teeth. Receiving dental implants can require multiple steps before the procedure is completed. Understanding what to expect during and after the treatment process will help patients better prepare for their procedures.
The first step required for getting dental implants consists of a thorough examination by a dental professional. They will do radiographs of the jaws to evaluate the shape and condition of the bone tissue and to pinpoint the exact location of any nerves that may be close to the treatment site. The images of the radiograph allow the dentist to construct exactly how to install the implants. If the X-rays are not sufficient enough, then a CT scan may have to be performed to provide three-dimensional images, which is a more expensive process.
The second step is the actual procedure, which may be completed in one or two stages depending on the patient’s oral circumstances. Both procedures require dentists to cut the gums open and drill enough space to make room for the implant.
During the one-stage procedure, dentists install the implant and attach a healing cap that will remain on-site for three to six months. Once the healing cap is removed, dentists add a permanent attachment called an abutment, which is covered by the replacement tooth.
During the two-stage procedure, dentists place a cover screw over the implant and sew up the gums during the healing process. Patients then return to have the implant uncovered and the healing cap attached. Once the gums have completely healed, the healing cap is then replaced by the abutment and covered by the crown.
Whether patients undergo the one-stage or two-stage procedure, post-treatment symptoms are the same. It’s normal for patients to experience temporary swelling of the gums and face, bruising of the skin and gums, bleeding, and pain. Dentists will prescribe specific antibiotics or pain medication to ease the discomfort and prevent infection. However, if any of these symptoms persist or worsen over time, it’s important for patients to follow up with their oral surgeon for further assistance.
Immediately after installation, patients can expect to only consume soft foods until the site heals. Often the stitches placed at the site will dissolve on their own, but if any complications arise, patients must follow up with their oral surgeon for further care.
At McBride Dental, we offer dental implants for patients who are suffering from tooth loss and would like to attain the smile they desire. Dr. McBride is one of the few dental professionals in San Diego who is qualified to perform dental implants. We are able to replace one, several, or all missing teeth depending on our patients’ needs. If you are in the San Diego area and would like to schedule an appointment with us, call us now at (760) 471-1003. We also offer other services including preventative care, cosmetic dentistry, and gum disease treatment. We look forward to hearing from you.