It's normal to feel a little nervous about going in to get your dental implant. Especially if you haven't had much serious dental work done before, you probably feel a little wary about the procedure and what it entails. Fortunately, the implant procedure is a very smooth and straight-forward process. Here's a look at what you should know and expect as you head to the dentist on your big day:
What is a dental implant?
Still a little confused about what a dental implant is? Here's the rundown: A dental implant is a complete replacement for a tooth that has been lost due to injury or disease. Unlike dentures, a dental implant is permanent, and both looks and feels like a metal tooth. The procedure is performed by placing the implant securely into the bone of your jaw or skull, where it then bonds to your bone over time. Once it heals, a new tooth is attached to the implant, and your smile will look as good as new.
How is it done?
Getting a dental implant is usually a multi-step process to allow for healing. Depending on your unique situation, your dentist may place you on antibiotics or other medications as a preventative measure to help ward against infection.
On the day you arrive, your dentist (like those at Quality Dental Care) will numb the area for the implant and perform the procedure. It is generally a quick process, generally taking no more than an hour for a single tooth if all goes well.
Does it hurt?
It's normal to feel anxious about the idea of a lot of dental tools and equipment in your mouth. You can relax—you probably won't even be able to tell you're having any work done. You will feel a couple of pokes as you would for any injection as the dentist numbs your gums, but once that anesthetic kicks in you won't feel any pain at all. You will still feel some dull pressure, but the procedure won't hurt.
How do I take care of myself afterwards?
It's normal to feel a little sore once the procedure is over. Typically, over-the-counter medications such as ibuprofen are strong enough to help with any residual aches, although your dentist may prescribe you a stronger painkiller if needed. The soreness usually goes away after a day or two. Be sure to take it easy for the first few days after the implant procedure to help yourself heal, and eat soft foods as needed. After about a week any stitches you received should be mostly dissolved and you'll hardly know you had any work done in the first place.
Hopefully you now feel a little more at ease about getting a dental implant. Just remember: It will all be worth it when you finally get your new tooth and see your brand new smile.