When most people hear the word dentist they immediately think of pain and discomfort. This might be because of a bad experience in the past with toothache or having a tooth extracted. In many cases, it is an entirely unfounded misconception Whilst a dental emergency may be painful and require a visit to the dentist, the truth is that with the modern techniques and advanced training of dentists today, it is rarely the procedure itself that is painful. For a planned procedure such as dental implant treatment, you can be assured of a totally painless experience.
If you have been considering dental implants, but have found yourself worrying about whether or not the treatment hurts, do not fear – it is a completely natural concern. In this article, we take a closer look at the process to help to put your mind at rest.
Why choose to have dental implants?
Dental implants are a permanent solution to missing teeth and are suitable for almost all patients. Unlike other options such as crowns and bridges, they do not have compromise your remaining, healthy teeth. They provide you with stable and natural looking replacement teeth, whilst at the same time helping to restore the strength and stability of the jaw by replacing not just the missing tooth itself but also the root.
Apart from the obvious visual implications of missing teeth, which can severely undermine our confidence and sense of self-esteem, there are hidden dangers of missing teeth – especially when gaps are allowed to remain for longer periods of time. This can include shrinking of the bone which may cause your natural teeth to drift or move. Eventually, increased weakness can cause the loss of additional teeth. The receding jaw bone can also often have the effect of causing us to look older than we are.
As well as helping you to look and feel great again, dental implants prevent such problems arising both now and in the long term future.
How do dental implants work?
Dental implants are made up of three components – the implant, the abutment, and the crown.
The implant plays the most important role, as it helps to restore strength to the jaw as well as forming a strong base for the replacement tooth. Dental implants are made of high-quality titanium, which is biocompatible. This allows it to bond and fuse with the natural bone around it so that it becomes an integral part of your jaw.
Once the implant is fully bonded, the abutment can be fitted, and finally the crown, leaving you with a replacement tooth that looks and feels completely natural.
What does the treatment process look like?
Here at Winning Smiles Dental Surgery, we follow a four-step process for dental implants.
1. Agree on a treatment plan
Next, you’ll have an appointment will your dentist who’ll conduct thorough examinations and take x-rays if required. This will help to check if any preliminary work is required prior to the implant treatment. Your personalized treatment plan will then be agreed.
2. Have your implants placed
Your dentist will fit your implants. The entire procedure is conducted under local anesthetic so you will feel absolutely nothing during the treatment
3. Healing and bonding time
It takes from 12 to 14 weeks for your implant to integrate with your bone. During this time, you’ll have a temporary cover to protect it.
4. Get your new teeth
You’ll return to our clinic for your dentist to fit your final tooth crown or bridge. Now you can enjoy your new teeth.
What about recovery and aftercare?
As with any surgical procedure, everybody’s experience is different. The vast majority of patients state that they feel nothing more than mild discomfort afterwards, most often during the healing stage. In most cases, patients are pleasantly surprised by the lack of any pain during the procedure itself.
To help you to stay comfortable, your dentist will prescribe painkillers and antibiotics and may recommend ice packs for use after your implant procedure. Your implantologist will always go through what you need to do to ensure a quick and successful recovery. Should you have any questions or concerns following your treatment, we are never more than a phone call away.