Medical procedures can seem like scary, complicated things — and for those who must rely on them to fix a certain condition, they can be a source of anxiety. Understanding your procedure can help you overcome your anxiety. When it come to replacing your teeth we have options.

If you are considering dental implants but are nervous because you don’t know how they work, we want to help. This blog explains dental implants to help our neighbors in Wichita Falls feel comfortable with the procedure.

What Are Dental Implants?

Dental implants are artificial tooth roots that attach to your jawbone. This provides a firm foundation for replacing the visible part of the tooth, which we replace with a ceramic crown. Using multiple dental implants, your Wichita Falls implant dentist can replace many teeth, often using a dental bridge or denture. In fact, we can replace an entire arch of teeth using just 4-6 dental implants.

Dental implants have a very high initial success rate, about 98% in many studies.

What Is the Dental Implant Procedure Like?

During a consultation at our dental office in Wichita Falls, we take measurements and x-rays, defining where your jaw bone is. This will let us know if you can get dental implants right away or if we might want to treat gum disease or do a bone graft first. This might postpone your implant procedure for a few months.  Otherwise, our CT-guided implant placement makes the procedure quick and accurate. Once we place your implant, we will top it with a restoration–a crown, bridge, or denture. Initially, this may be a temporary restoration.

Through a process known as osseointegration, your jaw bone and tissue begin to fuse with the titanium implant, creating a bond very similar to that of natural tooth roots. Once osseointegration is complete, you can upgrade to your permanent restorations.

Because the body maintains bone around the implant and the ceramic crown is resistant to staining and chipping, it also means your implant will function for a very long time.

Does It Hurt to Get Dental Implants?

Thanks to modern dental anesthesia, most people feel little or no discomfort during the dental implant procedure. After the procedure, people might experience discomfort for a few days. This is usually minor and easily controlled with over-the-counter medications.

If you are concerned about pain from dental implants, sedation dentistry can help you stay calm before and during your dental implant procedure. We even offer drug-free relaxation dentistry with NuCalm.

Do I Have to Take Time off for Dental Implant Recovery?

It’s usually best to take the rest of the day off after getting dental implants. However, you can normally return to non-strenuous work and most other normal activities the next day. Avoid strenuous activities during the immediate healing period.

What Are the Benefits of Dental Implants?

Dental implants keep increasing in popularity because they offer many benefits. Dental implants:

  • Function like natural teeth
  • Look like natural teeth
  • Help maintain your jawbone and gums
  • Are easy to care for
  • Can last a lifetime

Unlike other traditional tooth replacement methods like dentures, dental implants function much like your natural teeth. They won’t fall out when you eat, talk, or laugh. They won’t become uncomfortable throughout the day, either. More importantly, they can help protect your jawbone from slowly losing bone mass.

Naturally, your jawbone continually regenerates itself. This process is started by stimulation received from chewing and working the teeth connected to the jawbone. When this stimulation disappears, the jaw won’t regularly regenerate itself like before, which can eventually cause sunken-looking cheeks and a loss in bone mass. Dental implants stimulate jawbone growth to avoid this problem, but dentures don’t.

Dental implants are easy to care for. Just treat them like natural teeth: brush at least twice daily, and floss every day. Some implant configurations might be a little harder to clean. To clean them better, switch to a water flosser or interdental brush. We’ll talk to you about your implant hygiene during your regular checkups at our Wichita Falls dental office.

If you care for dental implants, they can last a lifetime. Some people have had implants for 50 years or more, and more than 90% last 20 years or more. Even with the best care, however, the crowns or bridges on your implant might not last as long. These dental implant restorations may last only 10-30 years.

Who Is a Candidate for Dental Implants?

Most people in Wichita Falls are candidates for dental implants. To be eligible for dental implants, you just need to meet three criteria:

  • Be missing one or more teeth
  • Be an adult
  • Be healthy enough for surgery

Dental implants are tooth replacements. You can’t get them unless you’ve lost one or more teeth.

Dental implants aren’t exactly like natural teeth. Usually, the differences don’t matter. However, they do matter for bone growth. You shouldn’t get dental implants if your jawbone hasn’t finished growing. This can also affect orthodontic treatment, so if you’re considering that, too, it’s a good idea to straighten teeth first, then get dental implants.

Dental implant surgery is minor surgery, but it’s still surgery. We’ll talk to you and your doctor to make sure you’re healthy enough for the procedure.

Ready to Get Dental Implants in Wichita Falls, TX?

Do you want to learn whether you’re a good candidate for dental implants? Please call 940-322-2252 or contact us today for an appointment with an implant dentist at StarImage Dentistry in Wichita Falls, TX. We have the same level of training and technology that you might find at big-city practices in Dallas, but with the hospitality and convenience, you expect in Wichita Falls.