Dental Implants 101

zR_9Dental Implants sound scary and if you’ve been advised that you need one, we want to make the process as simple and easy as possible and that starts with knowledge. Dr. Hairr here at Chapin Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery sat down and answered a few of our patient’s most pressing questions when it comes to Dental Implants and what to expect.
What leads to someone needing a dental implant?
Dr. Hairr: Someone missing a tooth may want to replace the tooth with something that feels as real as possible. There are other options like bridges and partial dentures for replacing teeth, but these do not feel nearly as real and are not as permanent. For people missing all of their teeth ( and wearing dentures), implants give people the ability to have restorations that are fixed to dental implants. A person in dentures can be given teeth that feel real and don’t move.
zR_36What kind of preparation goes into the implant process?
Dr. Hairr: Preparing for procedure is mainly based on what implant procedure is being done. A single tooth requires little, but a full mouth restoration involves a good deal of preparation. The main thing to mention about preparation is that 2 professionals must be involved – myself (an oral surgeon) and a dentist. I do the surgery and the general dentist places the actual teeth on the implants. This is a good thing – 2 experts working together to make sure the look, healing and health are in place.
What does the healing process and the aftermath looks like
Dr. Hairr: Typical implant healing is called “osseointegration”. Once the implant is placed, the bone creates a chemical bond to the implant as it heals. This takes several weeks to a few months (depending on bone quality). After this process is complete, the implant is completely fused to the bone and cannot be removed  (as least not easily). I tell patients that it is then like a “rock stuck in concrete”. The integration process does not hurt. Most of the post operative discomfort is over within a week. It is less discomfort than having a tooth removed.
If you’ve considered dental implants or have been told by a professional you’re a candidate for the procedure, Dr. Hairr and the team would love to sit down with you to discuss different options and walk through the process in more detail to make you feel as knowledgeable and comfortable as possible. Give us a call today to set up an appointment: (803) 816-2795