Missing or damaged teeth can be as hard for your self-esteem as it is to speak and chew. Although short-term solutions are available, they may not give you the functionality and comfort that you need. Dental implants are often the best solution, but you probably have a lot of questions about them.
To help you understand dental implants better, we’ll look at:
- Where do I get dental implants in Knoxville, TN?
- When do I need dental implants?
- What happens during a dental implant procedure?
- Do dental implants hurt?
- How long do dental implants last?
- What happens when a dental implant fails?
- How do I prepare for and recover from dental implant surgery?
1. Where Do I Get Dental Implants in Knoxville, TN?
My Family Dentistry is your source for dental implants in Knoxville, TN. While implants are a common service for general dentists, Dr. Wesley Mullins actually trains other dentists on how to perform the procedure. This means that you’ll receive the highest quality of care from one of the most knowledgeable dentists around.
Our team is here to walk you through every step of the process. We will answer all your questions, instilling confidence as you prepare for and undergo your procedure. You will have an experienced dental assistant next to you throughout the procedure, letting you know what to expect and checking in every step of the way.
2. When Do I Need Dental Implants?
You’ll need a dental professional to tell you if it’s time to consider a dental implant. However, there are a few key signs you can be on the lookout for. They include:
- Missing or broken teeth
- A tooth infection
- Dentures that don’t fit correctly
Missing or broken teeth can lead to a host of problems such as pain when chewing, sensitivity, fever, and swollen jaw and neck glands. In these cases, dental implants may be the best option to restore the look and functionality of your teeth, as well as your overall health.
Poor dental care can eventually result in a tooth infection. Neglecting proper care can result in a tooth that has lost so much strength that it can’t be saved. In cases like these, dental implants can alleviate pain from the infection while protecting your oral health.
Temporary dentures that don’t fit correctly can range from uncomfortable to downright painful. In some cases, the pain from ill-fitting temporary dentures can outweigh the ability to chew and smile confidently. By choosing dental implants, you’ll have peace of mind knowing you have a comfortable and secure solution, as well as one that’s much easier to care for.
Click here to read our blog on signs that you may need a dental implant!
3. What Happens During a Dental Implant Procedure?
For your dental implant procedure, Dr. Mullins will start by drilling a small hole into your jawbone. He then anchors the screw that will hold the replacement crown or cap in place. Next, the implant is inserted into the bone socket of the missing tooth.
Surgery for one tooth usually takes around an hour, and procedures for multiple teeth can last two to three hours. We only use a local anesthetic as pain is often minimal. This ensures a comfortable procedure with the best possible results for our patients.
To read our blog about how dental implants work, click here!
This is probably the most common question we receive about dental implants. They don’t have to be uncomfortable, especially if the extraction site has already healed. All that’s required is a small incision in the gums. Anesthetic is used during the procedure so you don’t feel a thing, although there may be some soreness during the healing process.
Getting a dental implant can be a surprisingly fast process, especially if you’re getting it at the same time as an extraction. In fact, extractions can be more stressful than having an implant placed. While getting a dental implant can seem nerve-wracking at the start, most patients are surprised by how smoothly the process goes.
5. How Long Do Dental Implants Last?
Dental implants can last decades and possibly a lifetime if cared for properly. However, it’s important to know that they may still require occasional repairs or replacements. While the anchor may remain intact, the crown will be subjected to daily wear and tear. A 2017 study found that 90 – 95% of implants last for at least 10 years.
Other factors to consider are your personal oral hygiene and overall health. Severe cases of gum disease (periodontitis) and unmanaged diabetes can result in the loss of jaw bone mass. This can cause the anchor of your crown to become loose and undermine the function of the dental implant. This is why good oral hygiene and overall health still matter, even with implants.
Click here to read our blog on the lifespan of dental implants!
6. What Happens When a Dental Implant Fails?
As we just pointed out, the vast majority (90 – 95%) of dental implants are successful. Unfortunately, it is still possible for an implant to fail. This can be due to a number of factors, including:
- Osseointegration (when an implant doesn’t bond with your jawbone correctly)
- Tissue damage around the implant
- Sinus problems
- Allergic reactions
You can detect a failed implant if you experience these symptoms after your procedure:
- A loose or shifting implant
- Swollen gums
- Receding gums around the implant
- Problems chewing
- Severe pain
You should contact us immediately if you experience any of these symptoms. We can determine what caused the failure and create a treatment plan based on why it failed. For example, infection will require gentle cleaning of the area with additional treatments from our dentists. Other causes, such as stress or damage, may require bone grafts to secure the implant.
To read more about what happens when dental implants fail on our blog, click here!
7. How Do I Prepare For and Recover From Dental Implant Surgery?
Phrases like “oral surgery” can be scary for patients. Fortunately, they are much more common than you may think. You can help make the experience go smoothly by following a few simple tips:
- Prepare food beforehand
- Plan your schedule around your procedure
- Dress comfortably
- Get plenty of sleep
It’s a good idea to prepare food beforehand so you don’t have to worry about it after your procedure. Whip up a few days of soft foods such as soup, pasta, and smoothies since you may not be able to chew firmer foods.
You should plan your schedule around your procedure, including your recovery. Avoid any important events for at least a week after your surgery. The first three days are especially important since you should be focused on rest and self-care.
Click here to read our blog on preparing for your dental implant procedure!
Dress comfortably when you come in for your surgery with loose clothing being ideal. Don’t wear your contacts or any jewelry to your appointment and remove any makeup or nail polish you are wearing.
Make sure to get plenty of sleep the night before your surgery. You need your strength to recover well, which means that you’ll need plenty of rest after your dental implant surgery, too. This will help your body direct as much energy as possible toward healing itself.
Want to learn more about getting dental implants? Schedule your consultation today!
It’s perfectly normal to have questions about dental implants. You should first know when it’s likely time to get them. It also helps to know what to expect during your procedure, as well as how long they last. While rare, implants can fail so it’s important to know what to do if that happens. You should also know how to prepare for surgery as well as how to best recover.