You are told by your prosthodontist that you need immediate dental implant surgery. You know it is going to be painful at some point, but other than that, the details are unknown and that only adds to your worries. It is the same case for many patients who do not even know the difference between a general dentist and a prosthodontist, a dentist specializing in dental implant surgery.
If you are about to undergo dental implant surgery in Washington DC, and you feel anxious about it, the following are some of the things you should know about the procedure:
1. Washington DC dental implant surgery is an outpatient surgery.
The patient is usually allowed to go home right after the procedure, and they can even resume normal activities like going to work, within three days. Prescription painkillers may be given, as well as, other drugs to temporarily relieve blood clotting problems.
2. Several stages are often required to complete the treatment plan.
A dental implant surgery is usually a step-by-step procedure performed in different stages in a span of several months. The first stage involves tooth extraction, followed by bone grafting after a week or two. After healing, the dental implant metal post is placed in the jawbone. This usually takes months to heal. Once fully healed, the extension of the previously implanted post, called an abutment, is connected. This is where the artificial tooth is placeed, normally within the same day.
What makes the entire treatment long is the healing process. Specifically, recovery lasts more than nine months for people with blood clotting problems, gum disease, and a thin jawbone.
3. Bone grafting is required for patients with a thin jawbone.
The bone to be implanted in should be thick enough to hold the implant, and support strong chewing motion. This is the most complicated part of the treatment, because it requires bone from another part of the body to be grafted to the jaw. The healing process for both parts may take months.
Nevertheless, minor bone grafting may only be required, and it can be performed right before the implant surgery.
4. Cutting and drilling are involved in the surgery.
It may seem gory, but the surgery itself is actually a safe process. The gum only needs to be cut to access the bone, into which the implant is drilled in. The implant does not protrude, so a tooth gap still appears. If you are embarrassed by the appearance, your dentist can give you a temporary denture. Just don't forget to remove it before you go to bed.
5. The implant becomes part of your bone within six months.
Theoretically, the implant no longer becomes a foreign matter after such time because the bone heals and unites with it. This process, called osseointegration, may take nine months for patients with naturally thinner jawbones.
6. You can choose between removable and fixed implant prosthesis.
The removable type is cheaper but demands more attention when cleaning. This is usually the suggestion for multiple teeth replacement. The fixed type is more expensive but can be easier to manage like a real tooth.