Before getting your dental implants, you'll need to gather as much information as you can so that you can be a well-informed patient. Missing teeth can cause self-confidence problems, and may also hinder your ability to chew your food properly. Here are three questions to ask your dentist before getting your dental implant surgery so that you can determine if it is the right restorative choice for your individual situation:
1. What Should I Expect During The Implant Procedure?
Before you embark on your dental implant journey, your dentist will perform a comprehensive examination and will take a set of x-rays to evaluate your oral health. Before your implants are placed, your natural teeth will be extracted, and then after the surgical sites have healed, the implant rods, or screws, will be placed in your jawbone.
Implants screws are typically made out of very strong titanium; however, other durable materials may be used. After the implant screw has adhered, or "meshed" with your jawbone, it will be capped with an artificial tooth, or crown, which will look and feel like your natural tooth.
2. Which Type Of Anesthesia Is Recommended?
If you are only having one tooth extracted, your dentist may simply give you a local anesthetic. If, however, you will be undergoing multiple tooth extractions, your dentist may recommend intravenous, or IV sedation. This will help ensure that you remain calm and comfortable while your dentist extracts your teeth.
In addition to the sedation agent, your dentist will be able to inject other medications such as antibiotics into your vein through your intravenous line during your procedure. Also known as "twilight sleep," intravenous sedation usually allows you to be awake during your surgery; however, you may not remember much about it when the procedure is over.
3. What Are The Risk Factors For Implant Failure
While not extremely common, dental implant failure can occur. Some of the risk factors for implant failure include an extensive form of gum disease known as periodontitis, where your gums and underlying bones are damaged, certain autoimmune disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis, and taking certain medications used in the management of osteoporosis. These medications can cause a rare bone disease known as osteonecrosis of the jaw. If you develop this condition, your implants will probably need to be removed until your jaw heals.
If you are considering dental implants, ask your dentist the above questions. When you know as much as you can about the dental implant procedure, you can then decide if you are a good candidate.