When you first began looking at dental implants, it seemed like a dream come true. A way to replace your missing teeth without dealing with dentures so that you can eat and smile normally? Who wouldn’t take that opportunity? But now you’re nervous about the procedure and what it might involve. Don’t worry; your dentist has ways to make sure you stay comfortable during treatment. Here’s what you need to know about the implant process – and how sedation can help you through it.
How Does the Dental Implant Process Work?
The advantage of dental implants is that they’re surgically inserted right into the jaw to serve as the “roots” for artificial teeth. This allows them to naturally fuse with the jawbone through a process called osseointegration. Not only does this allow them to provide good chewing power, but it also helps prevent the bone loss often brought about by missing teeth.
Before the actual insertion, your dentist will perform a thorough review of your medical history and a comprehensive dental examination before developing a custom treatment plan. During surgery, any damaged teeth are removed, and necessary preparations are made to the jawbone before the implant is placed; after allowing time for healing and osseointegration, the implant is topped with an abutment and a dental crown to serve as the new tooth.
Can Sedation Be Used During Dental Implant Placement?
While anesthetic can be used to reduce discomfort during implant placement, patients who suffer from dental anxiety might have reservations about the procedure. In these cases, a form of sedation dentistry may be used.
If a patient is only a little anxious or doesn’t expect the visit to take too long, nitrous oxide or “laughing gas” can be administered through a face mask to induce relaxation. For patients who have more severe anxiety or are undergoing longer procedures, oral conscious sedation can induce a deeper feeling of relaxation. Note that nitrous oxide will wear off quickly while oral conscious sedation will not, so for the latter you’ll need to arrange for someone to drive you home afterwards.
Make sure you tell your dentist about any concerns or fears you have before undergoing any form of oral surgery; learn how discomfort will be dealt with and what options there are for sedation. Remember, dental implants can make a big difference for people with missing teeth; don’t let anxiety prevent you from reaping the benefits.
About the Practice
At Thornton Dental Wellness, Drs. Neely Thornton and Melanie Nadler provide comprehensive dental care using state-of-the-art technology. They offer many tooth restoration options such as implants and crowns, and they offer two forms of sedation dentistry to help patients remain comfortable. To schedule an appointment, visit their website or call (770) 422-7727.