A dental procedure involving surgery does not create any feelings of comfort. But, perception may be greater than reality in this case. If a person is wondering what a dental implant procedure is like, here is what they should expect during the procedure.
Impressions of the teeth
During the impression-taking process, the patient bites down on a gel that hardens to create the impressions of the inside of their mouth on the gel. The dentist fills a u-shaped tray with the gel and places it in their mouth.
Most patients do not feel any uneasiness during this step of the treatment. But, some patients need to be kept from panicking (because their mouth is not opening properly) or gagging (because they have an active gag reflex).
Dentists use several techniques to distract the patient so that they feel comfortable. Some dentists engage with the patient by talking with them and assuring them that they are nearly done with the treatment. Patients can use their own “methods of distraction” as well: they can watch the TV or use their imagination. If they still feel anxious, they can ask the dentist to use laughing gas.
Extraction of the remaining tooth
Some patients need an extraction to remove the tooth where the implant will be placed. The patient is given anesthesia for the extraction so that it is a painless procedure. After the extraction, the patient is not allowed to do certain things, such as smoke or consume chewy foods for the next 24 hours.
Placement of the dental implant
The main surgery is also done under anesthesia. As the hole is drilled in the jaw bone, the patient will feel a vibration because of the drilling. After the procedure, patients usually feel discomfort but not pain. The discomfort can be minimized by using over-the-counter medication. The doctor will also prescribe antibiotics to avoid any infections from forming.
The whole procedure may last one or two hours; however, it is a good idea to not have any commitments for the rest of the day because the duration of the procedure will be different for every patient. Patients usually do not need assistance after the implants are placed and are allowed to drive home if they wish.
Cost of dental implants
Several factors will influence cost, including the need for tooth extraction, the condition of the bone and gums and the need for a graft. Besides these factors, the price may also vary based on location. Generally, the dental implants plus crowning will cost between $3,000 and $5,000 per tooth. Dental implants are typically not covered by dental insurance.
Normally the fear of the treatment is greater than anything that happens during the procedure. It is the responsibility of the dentist to properly explain each step to their patients. To avoid any surprises, be sure to note all of the steps explained by the dentist and ask if any written materials are available to take home with you. Talking with someone who has undergone a similar procedure can be helpful as a well.
If you’re still curious about dental implant procedures, please give us a call today. We are happy to go over the process and answer any questions that you may have.