Dental implants have revolutionized dentistry as we know it. Anyone needing a tooth replaced should be excited by this advancement. However, for some people the term “dental implant” can sound invasive and more than a wee bit scary. After all, surgically inserting titanium pegs into your jawbone seems like a hefty ordeal. However, Dr. Robert Harrell and his top-notch staff at Harrell Dental Implant Center have made dental implant surgery as smooth and simple as possible. Plus, a full range of sedation dentistry techniques are utilized to ensure that every procedure is delivered with maximum patient comfort.
Relinquish Your Worries
There are many reasons why you can relax if you’re considering a dental implant. Here’s some info that should be reassuring.
The procedure is precisely planned. Implant surgery is a relatively minor procedure, mainly because all the placement details are often mapped out ahead of time. For complex situations your dentist can use x-ray or CT imaging to determine the exact location for each implant and create a surgical guide to use during the procedure to make incisions and create the small channel that will hold the implant.
Implant surgery can be performed with local anesthesia. Implantation is usually easier than tooth extraction — if you’re healthy enough for that procedure you should have no problem undergoing implant surgery. With a local anesthetic, your dentist will numb only the implant site and surrounding tissues while you remain conscious. If, however, you have any anxiety your dentist can also include a sedative or anti-anxiety medication before proceeding.
There’s minimal discomfort afterward. Thanks to the pre-planned surgical guide and advanced implantation techniques, there’s very little tissue disruption and incised tissues are normally stitched with self-absorbing sutures. While some cases may require stronger pain relievers, most of the time a mild non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) such as aspirin or ibuprofen is sufficient for discomfort afterward.
The implant site heals fairly quickly and predictably with a 95-97% success rate. A few weeks after bone integration your dentist will attach the permanent like-like crown, and you’ll be ready for many years of full function and a confident smile. Read more at Dear Doctor
Knowing what to expect ahead of time can greatly ease your fears and help you feel confident. But if you continue to be anxious or suffer from dental anxiety in general, please let us know. We want to address your fears and discuss sedation dentistry options that will allow you to have your procedure with complete ease.
What To Expect During Implant Surgery
To begin the process, you will undergo a comprehensive oral exam. Dr. Harrell will discuss your particular needs with you in detail and suggest the best implant treatment option. This could consist of a single dental implant to replace one tooth, a dental implant bridge to replace multiple teeth or an All-on-4 to replace a full arch of missing teeth on top, bottom or both. When both sides are in agreement, your procedure will be scheduled.
Implant placement surgery is actually a relatively minor procedure, especially if appropriate pre-planning has been done ahead of time. This generally takes the form of radiographic (x-ray) examination, frequently CT scanning, and often the use of a precision surgical guide. This allows a determination of your occlusion (bite), where the new replacement teeth will be placed within it, exactly where the implants will be placed in the bone to support the teeth, and the bone quantity and quality into which they will be inserted. So you can see nothing is left to chance.
If you have any anxiety about the surgery, tell your dentist ahead of time. While almost all implants are placed using local anesthesia (numbing of the area with small shots), mild apprehension can be relieved with sedative or anti-anxiety pre-medication given either orally or intravenously (“intra” – within; “venous” – vein). Following the administration of local anesthesia, your dentist will test the area before starting to ensure that it is numb and that you will not feel anything. More info at Dear Doctor
The Stages of Receiving a Dental Implant
Dental implant surgery is usually an outpatient surgery performed in stages:
- Your damaged tooth is removed.
- Your jawbone is prepared for surgery, a process that may involve bone grafting.
- After your jawbone heals, your oral surgeon places the dental implant metal post in your jawbone.
- You go through a healing period that may last several months.
- Your oral surgeon places the abutment — an extension of the implant metal post — followed by your new artificial tooth (crown).
The entire process can take many months from start to finish — three to nine months and sometimes longer. Much of that time is devoted to healing and waiting for the growth of new bone in your jaw. More details from Mayo Clinic
Book Your Dental Implant Consultation
Harrell Dental Implant Center loves to help patients achieve a healthy, gleaming smile they are proud to share with the world. Schedule your free consultation with us today to learn more about dental implants. Call 704-206-1330 or use the contact form on this page to make your appointment. We look forward to hearing from you.