How Dental Implants Can Work For You

Tooth problems are no joke. Not only are they painful, but tooth loss makes daily activities, such as eating and speaking, very difficult. However, sometimes compromised teeth can't be saved with fillings or crowns. In that case, one of your options for replacing the missing teeth is getting dental implants. While implants do require surgery, according to Dear Doctor the precise planning makes implant surgery relatively minor. Consider dental implants for a permanent solution to tooth loss.

Basics of Dental Implants

Manufacturers typically make dental implants out of titanium, a biocompatible material that the body accepts. The titanium rod is topped with an abutment, which extends above the gum line, and a crown. The titanium rod fuses to your jawbone, which provides a stable support for the crown. Essentially, the implanted tooth functions like your natural teeth.

Implant Procedure

The first step is removing the compromised tooth. The oral surgeon then takes X-rays and possible CT scans to create the precise surgical guide. The next step is drilling a small hole in the jawbone under the gums. Typically you only need to undergo local anesthesia, though Dear Doctor states your dentist may prescribe a sedative for anxiety. Finally, the surgeon implants the titanium rod into your jawbone and closes the gum flaps with self-absorbing stitches. If the implant is sturdy enough, the surgeon may secure the abutment then.

Once your soft tissue has healed, your dentist makes molds of your teeth and later attaches the crown to the abutment. You can choose between removable and fixed crowns. With removable crowns, the tooth is mounted onto a metal frame which attaches to the abutment. Fixed crowns are affixed permanently to the abutment with cement.

Discomfort After Surgery

You know best how your body reacts to pain. However, generally the pain associated with dental implant surgery is relatively minor, and you can control it with over-the-counter medication. However, in some cases, your dentist may prescribe stronger medication such as an opioid. Some patients experience minor bleeding, swelling and some bruising. However, these effects typically don't last more than a few days.

Benefit of Implant Surgery

Dental implants are a more permanent solution to tooth loss than bridges and dentures. In some cases, though, implants may be combined with bridges. You do have to maintain good oral hygiene to keep the structures healthy. However, the Academy of Implant Dentistry states that with proper hygiene and periodic adjustments, dental implants can last a lifetime.

If you've had a compromised tooth removed, consider having it replaced with a permanent dental implant. For more information, visit sites like