If you have decided to replace your missing teeth with dental implants, you are probably starting to feel nervous about what will happen during implant surgery.
The first thing you need to do is find a reputable dentist, such as Blue Sky Dentistry in Belfast, who offer dental implants. You are looking for a dentist who has had a long and varied implant career, and possibly even won industry awards for their work.
You can read up on each dentist on the General Dental Council website to see what their dental implant qualifications and experience are.
Most implant dentists will offer a free initial consultation, so that you can meet and discuss your treatment and desired outcome. Once you have chosen your implant surgeon, they will do a more in-depth consultation, and draw up a treatment plan, including costs, for you. Once you have agreed to this plan, you will be booked in for surgery.
Surgery is usually carried out under local anaesthetic. The pain is much less than dental work on teeth because the jaw has far fewer nerve endings. However, if you are especially anxious, your dentist can sedate you, or maybe even do the implant work under general anaesthetic.
Immediately after surgery under local anaesthetic, you may find that you will need to staunch any blood flow by biting down on a piece of gauze for a short time. Bleeding is unlikely to be excessive. However, for a few days you will have to frequently wash your mouth with salt water, and also brush your teeth very gently to prevent infection.
For a while, you will have to eat a limited diet, so that you do not disturb the dental implants. During this time of two to four months, a process called osseointegration is taking place. The jawbone is growing around and fusing with the dental implants, making them secure, so that they can withstand actions like biting and chewing.
Once the bones and gums have healed you can have the crowns fitted. These are custom-made to so closely resemble your own teeth no one will know they are not natural. After that, you can return to twice daily brushing and flossing.