Your adult teeth are supposed to be permanent. If you lose them, they won't grow back. Fortunately, modern dentistry has a solution for those experiencing tooth loss. Dental implants can be embedded into your jawbone. Implants can prevent bone loss and allow you to wear durable artificial teeth that look and function just like natural teeth. Follow this checklist if you have an appointment to get dental implants:
1. Don't worry about the procedure.
The word surgery often makes people worry. The dental implant procedure is a type of oral surgery, but it's an easy surgery that can be completed quickly and painlessly. Your dentist will give you numbing injections before they place your implant. You may feel a strong sensation of pressure while your dentist makes space for your dental implant and puts it in place. However, you won't feel any pain. Your dentist will make sure to check in with you every step of the way to ensure you remain calm and comfortable.
2. Be gentle with your new dental implant.
After your dental implant has been put in place, it can take a few months for your jawbone to fully heal. Your gums will also need to close around the incision your dentist made, but soft tissue tends to heal much more quickly. Be careful with your new dental implant before it has the chance to settle into your mouth. Avoid chewing on the affected side of your mouth as much as possible. Drink nourishing liquids such as smoothies and fruit juices and avoid eating tough, chewy foods until your dentist clears you for it.
3. Manage your pain appropriately.
When you get a dental implant, you will experience some soreness after the anesthetic wears off. Your doctor may write you a prescription for stronger painkillers than you can find in the drugstore. Take your medication according to your doctor's instructions. You should feel well enough to switch to over-the-counter pain medication within a week. If your pain is still severe after you run out of prescription medication, call your dentist. Unusual pain can be a sign of complications that should be treated by a dentist.
4. Return to your dentist on schedule.
Once your dental implant has had time to settle in, you will return to your dentist to complete the procedure. They will take x-rays of your mouth to confirm that the implant has fully healed. Then, they will attach an artificial tooth to your dental implant. Once the tooth is put in place, your dentist's work is done. Make sure you return to your dentist on schedule so you can have a fully restored smile as soon as possible.