In the initial planning and consultation stages, your dental surgeon will visually inspect the area in your mouth where the dental implant would go, should it be decided that you need one. They will also examine the area using dental imaging technology such as X-rays and CT scans. Your dental surgeon will also inspect the jawbone in the area to determine whether there is sufficient bone density and quantity in the area to support the implant that is being considered.
If it is determined that the desired dental implant could be supported at the desired site, you will then be given an appointment to have the actual dental implant installation surgery procedure performed.
At the outset of the dental implant surgery, you will be given a local anesthetic to completely numb the affected area and a sedative will be administered if necessary, for instance if you suffer from dental anxiety.
Usually, the initial stage of a dental implantation surgery will involve the removal of an existing damaged or otherwise compromised tooth. In many cases, it will be necessary to install an alveolar bone graft, which is a bone graft made from synthetic or cadaver bone. This graft provides a solid foundation for the implant to adhere to. After the bone graft is installed, it will require two to six months to heal before the actual dental implant can be installed.
If the area targeted for the dental implant has no tooth and some sort of bone loss is present, then an onlay graft will need to be performed. This type of graft is more involved than the aforementioned alveolar graft. It requires about six months or more to heal before a dental implant can be installed.
In cases where there is sufficient bone present to support the desired dental implant, you may actually be able to get the dental implant installed at the very same appointment you have the old tooth removed at.
As with most procedures and products, a dental implant surgery can vary quite dramatically in cost depending on who is performing the operation and what exactly is being done. A fairly conservative cost estimate for the installation of a single dental implant would range from $4500 to $5000. This cost would include the surgical procedure, all required components, and the implant crown itself.
As a general rule, don’t expect your dental insurance to cover your costs when it comes to dental implant surgery. Certain companies may help you pay for the crown of the dental implant, but they likely will not be willing to pay for the rest of your costs. This is due to the fact that many dental insurance providers consider dental implantation surgery to be an “elective” or “cosmetic” procedure which is not strictly necessary.
This is despite the fact that dental implantation surgery has become the de facto standard treatment for the replacement of missing teeth. Dental implants have become the standard for replacing missing teeth because they have a success rate of over 98% and offer a relatively conservative approach to solving this common problem.
As with any surgery, there are of course risks with dental implantation surgery. Your dental surgeon will check for the potential pitfalls such as bleeding disorders, medical conditions, allergies, and other issues of concern. Gladly, the success rate with these procedures is so high that you are highly unlikely to experience any serious problems with one of these dental implantation surgeries.
Failures of these surgeries, while very rare, could be caused by an unusual infection, a fracture of the dental implant itself, putting too much strain on the dental implant, or inadvertent damage to the nerves in the area. Generally speaking, as long as you are working with a dental surgeon who is properly qualified and knows what they are doing, you should not have an issue with any of these things.
In the event of a worst case scenario, your dental surgeon should simply be able to reattempt the procedure after you have had a sufficient amount of time to heal properly.
When you have a dental implant installed, you will be under an anesthetic which numbs the area completely. This should prevent you from feeling any pain at all during the operation. After the procedure is completed and this local anesthetic has diminished in its effect, the amount of residual pain or discomfort you feel is going to vary with each specific case.
Generally speaking, the majority of people will experience a healing process that involves a similar amount of discomfort to that of a routine tooth extraction.
In most cases you should be fine with simply taking some over the counter pain medication such as Acetaminophen (as in Tylenol) or Ibuprofen (as in Advil). You can also use a cold compress or ice pack on the area to help any swelling to subside. If the surgery was a more invasive one, you might need a prescription pain reliever, which will need to be prescribed by your dental care provider, along with more recovery time. You may also be given prescription antibiotics and/or mouth rinse to help the area heal and to prevent any infection from occurring.
Dental implantation surgery can actually be performed by any licensed dentist as long as the procedure follows the established standards. Because these implants are often placed directly into the jawbone, however, the dental professionals best suited to the task are those who work with the jawbone on a regular basis and have a great deal of experience in doing so.
Oral maxillofacial surgeons, also known as Oral Surgeons, are one such type of dental professional. Periodontists are another, and they typically specialize in treating diseases of the gums and mouth, including those that affect the jawbone.
Hopefully this has helped to answer some of your questions and concerns surrounding dental implantation surgery. If you need one of these procedures, contact your dentist or orthodontist and see if they or someone they can recommend can perform the surgery.
Have you had any experiences with dental implantation surgery? Did it improve your smile and self-confidence? How did it go? Let us know in the comments below!