Getting Dental Implants: What to Expect
If you want to replace missing teeth and restore your smile, you’ve probably heard of or considered dental implants. This revolutionary provides our patients with new teeth that look and feel like a healthy, natural smile. The team at DeAngelis Family Dentistry in Carlsbad, CA, is happy to help our patients restore their quality of life, diet, and self-confidence with modern dental implants.
Here’s what you can expect during the dental implant process:
How Dental Implants Work
You can think of dental implants as biocompatible, permanent, artificial teeth. These restorations consist of three parts: the implant, an abutment, and the crown on top.
The implant is usually made of a titanium cylinder that we insert into the bone where your previous tooth once stood. The surface of your implant fuses to the bone and helps prevent additional bone loss. Then an abutment and crown are attached to the top of the implant to serve as the visible portion of your new tooth. Best of all, we customize the size, shape, and color of each restoration so that it blends in with the surrounding teeth.
We can also pair implants together for multi-tooth replacement. Implant-supported bridges and full arch restorations can restore several (or all) of your teeth at one time.
Once your implant is installed, you can go back to your old routine and enjoy all of your favorite foods. Your new dental implants are permanent and can last for decades, if not the rest of your life.
The Dental Implant Procedure: Step by Step
Each tooth implant process is unique, but Dr. DeAngelis will typically follow the same procedural approach in each case, including the dental implant procedure steps below.
Step 1: Meet with Dr. DeAngelis
Your first visit with Dr. DeAngelis gives us the chance to evaluate your implant candidacy and answer any questions you might have. During this visit, we’ll look at where teeth are missing and which ones may need to be extracted. We’ll also take images of your mouth to ensure you have sufficient bone to support new dental implants. If not, Dr. DeAngelis will suggest bone grafts to strengthen those areas of your jaw.
Step 2: Bone Grafts (If Needed)
Bone grafting is the process of taking bone from one part of the body, donor, or using synthetic material, and infusing it into another part of your mouth. This procedure is relatively straightforward and does not require a long recovery time. However, it can take several months for your jaw to integrate with the new bone enough to support dental implants.
Step 3: Implant Procedure (Placement/Installation)
We will begin the procedure by numbing your mouth and providing a sedative to keep you relaxed. Next, Dr. DeAngelis will create small openings in the gums and then attach the implants to your underlying bone. In some cases, we can temporary restorations to fill the space, but this is not always necessary.
Step 4: Attaching the Crown or Other Restorations
It will take a few months for the implant to completely integrate with your bone. After integration occurs, we will attach the permanent crown to the implant. During this visit, our team will ensure your restoration aligns with the surrounding teeth and fit comfortably so you can chew and speak.
Many people experience mild soreness or swelling after undergoing the dental implant process of installation or grafting. We will prescribe you antibiotics and possible pain medication to help manage any of these side effects. You can also rinse your mouth with warm saltwater and apply a cold compress to alleviate any mild swelling.
However, keep an eye out for severe swelling, redness, and pain. While infections are rare, they can pose serious problems. We encourage you to call our Carlsbad dentist office if you notice any of these symptoms.
Life After Dental Implants
You can enjoy all your favorite parts of life again after we attach your permanent crowns or other implant restoration(s). Your dental implants will function just like natural teeth, so you can eat what you want and maintain an active lifestyle. What’s more, you only need to brush and floss to keep them clean and schedule regular checkups. Plus there are no removable “plates” to take out at night.
Book Your Dental Implant Consultation
If you have gaps in your smile or want to replace a few problem teeth, dental implants may be right for you. The team at DeAngelis Family Dentistry has helped many Carlsbad residents restore their smiles, and we’d love to help you too. Call today to schedule your consultation.