What to expect on the implant journey
Getting dental implants has all sorts of horror stories attached it, but, in reality, it is a pretty simple process and not very painful. As with all other things that you have yet to experience, it’s the anticipation of the unknown that’s making you feel nervous.
At The Old Windsor Dental Practice in Berkshire, we have seen the way dental implants have transformed the lives of our patients who need teeth replacing. They are once again able to eat whatever they like. Patients who have been living with dentures are delighted to no longer have to live every day with a background level of anxiety about their teeth wobbling around just when they least expect it.
The dental implant process has a few stages to it.
We need to take a really good look at your mouth and your jawbone to make sure that we can fit dental implants. If your jawbone has degenerated it won’t be able to support the implants. There are ways to regenerate it though, using bone grafts and a technique called a sinus lift. If it’s your upper jawbone that’s causing the issue, we may be able to use extra-long implants to anchor through the jawbone and into the cheekbone above it.
If you need a bone graft, you will need to add in some extra time while the bone grafts integrates.
People worry that this will be painful, but, with fewer nerves in the jawbone, a local anaesthetic is ample to numb the pain. Anxiety is another matter altogether. The procedure takes a while, so you may want oral or intravenous sedation to help you deeply relax.
You need to allow 2-6 months for the implants to fuse with your jawbone before you can expect to chew crunchy or chewy foods. This is the case even if you have crowns fitted immediately (same day teeth).
All you need to do to look after your implants is make sure you don’t get gum disease. Twice-daily brushing for 2 minutes, with daily flossing and regular trips to the hygienist is enough for this.