Kirkland dentist explains what to expect from dental implants service
Tooth loss detracts from your smile and disrupts the natural balance of your mouth. The function and appearance of your smile are affected. Dental restorations address and correct problems such as missing teeth to improve a patient’s quality of life. In Kirkland, WA, Dr. Ann Kelley and the team at Kingsgate Dental Clinic offer dental implants service to restore the balance in the oral cavity and to permanently replace missing teeth.
Dental implants are small cylinders that are precisely positioned in the jaw in place of the missing teeth. Implants topped with a crown mimic the natural structure of the tooth. The implant replaces and takes on the role of the tooth root. It stimulates the bone to keep it healthy. The abutment sits above the gums and connects the implant to a crown. When an implant is topped with a crown, the entire restoration looks and functions like a natural tooth. Implants can be used to replace a single tooth or multiple teeth depending on the patient’s need.
What to expect
More than one appointment is needed to complete the dental implant process. The implant is placed in one visit. It is positioned precisely in the jawbone to replace the missing tooth root. The area is given time to heal. The bone fuses around the implant in a process called osseointegration. This healing process takes a few months and creates the foundation for a sturdy, secure restoration. Osseointegration ensures the implant will function as a natural tooth.
The day of the implant placement, the patient may notice discomfort once the anesthetic wears off. Discomfort is a normal side effect and can be expected. Remember, this is a dental procedure. We try to use a gentle touch, but someone will be working and putting pressure on the mouth. Discomfort is expected. Swelling and discomfort may be managed with ice or cold packs and over-the-counter painkillers. Try to protect the treatment area by not rinsing, spitting, or touching the site on the day of the procedure. Side effects will subside as the treatment site heals.
Following dental implant procedures, the inside of the mouth may be sensitive and tender. Avoid anything that may irritate the mouth. Stick with soft foods and try not to chew near the implant. Avoid spicy foods that may irritate the mouth. Do not use straws as the suction may disrupt the implant site. As usual, remember to maintain positive oral hygiene to keep your teeth, gums, and mouth healthy. Your dentist will provide instructions on gently cleansing the treatment area.
Caring for your implants
Implants are a more permanent tooth replacement option than other dental restorations. With proper care, implants can last a lifetime as they replace missing teeth and restore the smile. The placement in the jaw keeps implants secure and stable. They are not subject to decay and do not add pressure or cause damage to the surrounding teeth. In mimicking the root and natural tooth structure, the implant keeps the jawbone healthy. Implants are long-lasting restorations.
Although it is always important to follow good oral health habits, this is especially true for patients with dental restorations. Good oral habits keep bacteria from accumulating in the mouth. Before an appointment for implant placement, patients should try to minimize the number of bacteria in the mouth. This reduces the risk of infections occurring during the procedure. Having a healthy mouth to start improves the likelihood of a successful outcome.
Following the dental implants service, the mouth is given time to heal. Good oral habits help reduce the risk of problems and ensure the longevity of the restoration. Your dental team will give you information on the proper care of your implant. General information may include the following:
- Avoid abrasive products that may damage the restoration
- Use an essential oil toothpaste
- Use a soft-bristled toothbrush
- Use dental floss designed for dental implants
- Rinse with an oral irrigator to clean hard-to-reach areas