Get New Dental Implants Installed at Our Albuquerque Office
Losing a tooth is never a fun experience. Many people focus primarily on aesthetics, and a lost tooth means an unsightly gap. However, losing teeth can also cause the others to shift into that open space. With time, that changes your bite pattern and can lead to pain and many different problems.
However, Albuquerque residents have Ivory Dental to rely on and help. If you live in the city or close by, we’re here for you to make an appointment. You can change your smile’s appearance and easily replace those missing teeth.
While many people think about dentures, dental implants are often the best option. They are surgically placed into your jaw. That way, it stimulates the bone, helping it to regrow as needed to prevent bone loss. With that, implants often look more natural when the procedure is finished.
Compared to dentures, implants are an effective and long-term solution!
What Are Dental Implants?
Before you can decide if dental implants are the best choice for you, it’s important to know what they are. With a dental implant, you have a fake tooth root. This is a metal post, and we often use titanium or zirconium for this part.
The posts look like a small screw, which is stuck deep into the jawbone. With time, the bone grows over it to hold it into place. On top of that, this is a permanent solution to tooth loss.
However, the implant or abutment is only the first step. Once things heal up well, we put an artificial tooth over the post. This crown looks just like a regular tooth, so no one is the wiser!
Implants are much different than dentures or bridges because they look more natural and function just like a tooth, too. Plus, they go deep into the bone, whereas bridges and dentures don’t.
What Is the Procedure for Dental Implants?
There are many different implant types available, so your procedure might be a bit different. However, the traditional steps are relatively standard for dental implants.
It all starts with an initial evaluation. We must give you an exam to determine the condition of your jawbone. If there’s not enough bone left, implants aren’t the right choice for you. However, we might be able to use bone grafting, which we discuss later.
Typically, you’ve already lost a tooth and want implants to cover the gap. However, if you have severely damaged teeth, we may choose to extract those teeth and put implants in for all of those missing ones. That way, you can heal up from all of the implants and restore your smile in less time.
The good news here is we can often extract the tooth the same day that we insert your implant. That means you can get in and out quickly with fewer issues.
What Is Bone Grafting?
There are two different implant options. With the first one, we insert the implant into the jawbone with no other steps needed.
However, some people don’t have a durable or strong jawbone. If there’s not enough bone, we can do a bone grafting procedure first. Though it requires more time to heal and another appointment, it can help your jawbone grow stronger. Then, we add the implant to the bone, and it grows around it, becoming a natural part of your gum line!
It often takes three months to heal the bone, and sometimes it takes a full year.
The Finishing Touches for the Procedure
Once your implant is stable enough, you come back to the office so that the dentist can put the abutment on the implant. This screw-style piece connects your crown to your implant. We must tighten it enough to stay in place while you eat.
You feel some pressure at this point, but we do offer a local anesthetic for comfort.
Many times, we can put on the abutment when we do your implant. However, we can’t do the finishing touches until the jawbone heals around the implant.
Sometimes, we can cover the metal piece with a temporary crown so that the bone doesn’t grow over the screw.
When your gums are healed, and the abutment is in place, we take impressions of your mouth and send them to a lab to make the crown. Then, we put them on, and you have a beautiful smile!
Recovery and Results
After surgery, you’re sure to feel some discomfort. Swelling and bruising of the gums is possible and might move to the jaw or face. You might also feel pain or see minor bleeding.
We recommend that you eat softer foods while your jaw and gums heal. You may also use ice packs to calm the pain and reduce the swelling.
However, you should still brush and floss every day. We typically show you how to do it right, especially around your implant site. That way, you’re keeping the mouth clean to prevent an infection from developing.
This is essential! You should also remember that it can take up to a year to heal, depending on your body. Therefore, be prepared to eat soft foods for a while. Though the swelling and pain should go away sooner, the process takes a while, and you should be patient.
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Most dental implants (up to 99 percent) are successful. However, sometimes, the bone doesn’t fuse to the implant. We may have to surgically remove it so that your bones can be cleaned and then try again.
You’re sure to have more success with your implants if you:
• Practice good oral hygiene – Your implants are like your natural teeth, so you must keep them clean. We recommend special tools to help you.
• Don’t do damaging habits – We recommend that you don’t chew ice and open packages with your teeth. You must also stop smoking and use mouth guards if you grind your teeth.
• Visit us regularly – You need a dental checkup and cleaning twice a year, so please don’t miss these appointments.
Let Ivory Dental Restore Your Smile
While it’s always best to save your natural teeth and keep them in your mouth, that’s not always possible. At Ivory Dental, we don’t judge you for your past. Instead, we focus on what to do to restore your beautiful smile and help you feel more confident.
Sometimes, that requires tooth extraction and faux teeth. Dental implants are the preferred choice over dentures. This is a big decision, though, and you should take whatever time you need to decide.
Please make your initial appointment with us to discuss your treatment options and concerns. That way, you know what to expect, how long this process takes, and what other procedures are available. From there, you can determine if dental implants are the best choice for you!