One of the most invasive dental surgeries, the procedure to get dental implants in Los Angelesis a months-long process that requires a huge amount of patience and dedication from both the doctor and the patient.
As with any surgical procedure, dental implant surgery goes a lot smoother when proper preparations and precautions are followed. Part of the planning for this surgery is that there may be several different doctors and what could seem like endless consultations and exams, but it is all so that the implants can be installed successfully and with as little complication as possible. Dental implant surgery is a single procedure only if there is one implant being installed and it goes perfectly, but most people who get dental implants get more than one. Because people can only be under anesthesia for so long before it begins to cause damage and because each implant will hurt quite a bit, if there are multiple implants to be done there will likely be multiple procedures.
A complete evaluation before dental surgery is an essential part of the process. This will likely involve several dental exams as well as potential exams by specialists and doctors from other disciplines. After and during the exams, a complete analysis of your medical history will be conducted to properly prepare and avoid any dangerous complications. If you have certain bodily implants such as an artificial hip of a pacemaker, doctors may prescribe pre-surgery antibiotics to avoid infection. All current and former medications should be examined, as should the general feeling of health and well-being of the patient.
Once the evaluation is complete, your doctor or doctors will work with you to come up with a treatment plan. This includes how many teeth are being replaced or installed and what the overall health of your mouth and teeth is like, including any tartar or plaque buildup and the condition of the supporting bone.
As discussed earlier, dental implant surgery is rarely a one-day procedure. If there are damaged teeth or a degraded jawbone, teeth will need to be removed and the jawbone will need to be grafted and strengthened before any implants can be installed. Once this step is complete and healing has finished, the implants will be drilled and installed into the jawbone. This part of the process can be extremely painful and take a very long time, even with the most skilled of surgeons. Once the implants are placed there has to be a good chunk of time for healing and for the bone to grow around the implants and lock them in place. Bone does not grow quickly and painlessly like skin or hair, so this part of the surgery may be the most grueling.
Once the implants have healed, dental abutments need to be placed for stability and immovable support. The abutment helps the implant stay firmly in the jaw and the crown or artificial tooth, the final part of the surgery, stay firmly attached to the implant. In all, the surgery will take many days over many months but is a more permanent and less losable or destructible solution for those who need or want false teeth. Dental implants can be fixed or removable for a variety of cleaning and dental needs.
Regardless of how many days or stages it takes, dental surgery will always leave the patient with swelling, especially of the gums and face, and even bruising on the jaw and gums. Pain and bleeding are also common, so taking adequate pain medication and resting are both important, as is monitoring the site and making sure it is clean and free from infection or irritation. After the swelling and pain lessens enough to eat, the patient will likely still have to eat soft foods only for some time as the healing progresses. Often dental surgery will involve dissolvable stitches, but if they must be removed manually such a procedure should always be done by a professional.
As with any major surgery, there are some risks associated with getting dental implants. Practicing good oral hygiene, such as regular brushing and flossing, helps to prevent infection and special brushes have been developed specifically for people in the middle stages of dental surgery or those who opt for the removable crowns. Avoiding tobacco and foods that require hard biting help speed up healing and lower the risk of cracking the remaining teeth or any already-installed crowns. Nerve damage is a risk, especially as close to the jaw as dental surgery is, and it can result in long term pain, numbness, or tingling near the site. Implants installed in the upper jaw can protrude into the sinus cavity, which can increase the risk of infection and create sinus problems.