At Steven T. Cutbirth DDS in Waco, we believe every patient deserves a beautiful smile. This blog post is about the preparation necessary for a dental implant.
What is a dental implant?
A dental implant is a titanium post inserted into the jawbone. For a single replacement tooth, an abutment and artificial tooth go on top of the post. Several implants can support a dental bridge or dentures.
Who can benefit from dental implants?
Ideal candidates for a tooth implant include patients with missing teeth, dentures, or bridges who have healthy oral tissue, adequate bone structure, and proper health for bone healing. For most of our patients who seek tooth restoration, a dental implant is an ideal option.
What preparation is needed?
An initial visit with us at Steven T. Cutbirth DDS is the first step. For this evaluation be sure to bring pertinent medical information, your current medication list, and questions you have about the process. Dental implants take multiple visits and the process is different for each person so be sure you understand all the specifics. If we determine that you don’t have enough bone structure at the implant site, bone grafting may be needed.
How do I ensure successful healing?
Avoid drugs or medications not approved by your dental caregiver. Eat soft foods for a while to give your mouth time to heal after the implant is inserted. Keep the mouth cleaned properly around the site. Follow the directions given at each visit. Stay healthy by eating a nutritious diet and getting proper rest. Avoid smoking or other tobacco products.
How do I care for dental implants?
Caring for implants is not much different than caring for natural teeth. Be sure to skip damaging, dangerous habits such as chewing hard items (ice or candy), and seek treatment for teeth grinding if it is an issue for you. See your dentist regularly. Keep the implant and gum tissue around the implant clean just as you (hopefully) do with your existing teeth.
The complete protocol can take a few months from initial consultation to the placement of the abutment and artificial tooth. At your initial consultation, we can discuss the cost of and think about financing options.
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