Dental implants are man-made tiny titanium posts. They are inserted in the jawbone where teeth are missing. These metal anchors act as tooth root substitutes and are surgically placed into the jawbone.
You may need to have a CT scan or an X-ray so that your dentist can check the thickness of your jawbone and the position of other structures in your mouth. A CT scan uses X-rays to monitor a three-dimensional picture of your teeth and mouth.
Dental implant surgery is generally carried out under local anaesthesia. This means that your mouth will be numb but you will stay awake. If you're particularly anxious about your treatment, your dentist may give you a sedative - this relieves anxiety and causes temporary relaxation without putting you to sleep. In certain situations, people may need to go into hospital and have treatment under general anaesthetic. If you're having a general anaesthetic, you will be asked to follow fasting instructions. This means not eating or drinking, typically for about six hours beforehand. However, it's important to follow your dentist's advice.
Your dentist will discuss with you what will happen before, during and after your procedure, and any pain you might have. This is your opportunity to understand what will happen, and you can help yourself by preparing questions to ask about the risks, benefits and any alternatives to the procedure. This will help you to be informed, so you can give your consent for the procedure to go ahead, which you may be asked to do by signing a consent form.
The ideal candidate for a dental implant is in good general and oral health. Adequate bone in your jaw is needed to support the implant, and the best candidates have healthy gum tissues that are free of periodontal disease.
Dental implants are intimately connected with the gum tissues and underlying bone in the mouth. Since periodontists are the dental experts who specialize in precisely these areas, they are ideal members of your dental implant team. Not only do periodontists have experience working with other dental professionals, they also have the special knowledge, training and facilities that you need to have teeth that look and feel just like your own. Your dentist and periodontist will work together to make your dreams come true.
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