Whether it’s through an accident or from general wear and tear, as you get older you may eventually lose a tooth. Although it can feel pretty disheartening to lose one of your pearly whites, there are effective replacements in the form of dental implants that can save your smile from the dreaded gaps everyone hates to have.
With that in mind, here are a few facts about implants and why you should consider them.
What are they?
Although an implant may sound a tad imposing, it’s a fairly non-invasive procedure that involves inserting a prosthetic tooth beneath your gum line and into your jawbone. This is held in place with a titanium screw that has been sterilised to keep it bacteria free. The tooth itself is usually made from porcelain or ceramics and it’s shaded and moulded to blend in with the surrounding teeth, to provide a natural replacement to the one you have lost.
Is the procedure painful?
One of the most common questions that patients can have for their dental team is whether a procedure is going to be painful. In the case of implants there will probably be some mild discomfort, but a local anaesthetic is used to numb the area first, to try to limit the amount of pain you will feel.
If you’re concerned about this you can always speak to your dental team about using a general anaesthetic to put you to sleep, but that’s something they will usually discuss with you first.
General aftercare advice for patients
After the implant has been fitted there are a few things you should keep in mind as you make your way home. First of all, you’re going to be under the influence of anaesthetic for a while, so have someone drive you or arrange for a taxi ride home, to make sure you get back safely.
Also, the implanted area is going to be sensitive for a while. So be careful with hot and cold meals. If there’s any discomfort during the healing process it’s advised that you use pain relief medication to counter this. Finally, you need to keep your implant clean as it heals, as infection can easily spread if you have a poor oral health routine. To keep your prosthetic tooth looking good just brush it lightly with the rest of your teeth at least twice a day.
You should also avoid using any dental floss or mouthwash for a while as these may irritate your gums and interrupt the healing process.
How long does the implant last?
Another fairly common question that a lot of patients have for their dental team is how long the implant is going to last for. Generally they’re pretty sturdy and should last for a number of years if taken care of conscientiously and properly maintained.
So to keep your implant healthy, or if you would like to learn more about this procedure and if it is right for you, then contact your local practice and have a chat with their team.