Missing teeth is difficult. Depending on how many teeth are missing and which ones, it may be difficult to eat, drink, talk, and smile. It is a common problem that will likely affect most adults at some point in their life. But there are several different options you and your dentist can discuss to get your oral health back to a place that instills confidence. What do you have to lose?
Start the Conversation with Your Dentist
First things first, talk to your dentist! Hopefully, you’re going to the dentist about every six months for a checkup and cleaning so discussing your missing teeth shouldn’t be tough. Maybe your dentist has already mentioned some treatment options to you and you weren’t ready, so now you can begin the conversation anew. A few things to go over:
- Cause of missing teeth: what do you believe caused your current missing teeth and how to prevent it from happening to more
- State of the tooth/teeth: are you missing teeth entirely or are they chipped, rotten, black, or ground down?
- Has the tooth been extracted: does the tooth need to come out, fallen out, or been previously extracted?
- Are you in pain: if the tooth is causing pain it may need to be extracted.
Dental implants and crowns can only come after the tooth has been removed. Your dentist will do an x-ray and see the state of the tooth, root, and jawbone. Then they’ll know where you stand.
Tooth Extraction and X-Rays
Depending on the state of the tooth your dentist will need to extract it if it cannot be salvaged through other means. This is the first step in receiving a dental implant. Your dentist will x-ray the affected area and then tell you to return in about 3 months for a follow-up x-ray. This is so the dentist can determine how much the jawbone has re-grown at the extraction site. If enough bone has filled in, then you can proceed with the next steps.
Dental Implant Installation
When enough bone has filled in, your dentist will be ready to start the implant process. It goes as follows:
- Your dentist will numb the area around the implant site and wait about 5 minutes for it to take effect.
- They’ll make an incision in the gums and essentially open them up to expose the underlying jawbone.
- The dental implant will then be installed into the jawbone.
- The wound will be closed and a few small stitches will be inserted.
- An X-ray will be taken of the tooth to ensure proper implant placement.
- Aftercare includes specific mouth rinses, mild pain medication, and an antibiotic in most cases.
The next step is fitting the crown mold that will be inserted into the implant.
- After a month or two you’ll be ready for the next step.
- An X-ray is taken to ensure the implant is still in a good position and has fused within the jawbone.
- Fitting the crown mold is next with a jelly-like substance being used for the sizing and fit of the crown.
- Your dentist will get the mold to the implant crown company to build the custom tooth.
- Usually takes 1-3 weeks for your dentist to receive the custom crown.
Now you’re ready for the final portion of the process, getting the crown installed and fitted comfortably and correctly.
- When your dentist receives the crown it’s ready to be installed.
- Your dentist will install the crown into the implant socket.
- Often they’ll need to shave down some of the edges to ensure a comfortable fit (there should be no pressure or discomfort).
- A final x-ray is taken to look at everything from the inside out.
- You now have a permanent working tooth!
Implants Require Time so Get Started Today
As you’ve seen from the process listed out above, an implant takes some time to complete. You can make the most of it by getting started the next time you see your dentist. If you’re not going to the dentist it is time to start.
For the best dental implants in Coney Island look no further than right here and over 40 years of local expertise. We live right here where we work, we are your neighbors proudly helping 4,000+ New Yorkers achieve the smile of their dreams every year.