What do I need to know before getting a dental implant?
As with any form of dental procedure or treatment, it is crucial that a clear diagnosis be obtained from a comprehensive examination (consultation) together with appropriate high-quality X-rays (imaging).
Thus, the first step is to seek a consultation with a dental surgeon experienced in the field of dental implantology.
After that, there are 4 phases in approaching any dental condition, detailed below:
Phase 1 - Emergency Phase
This phase involves acute infections, severe pain that requires urgent intervention. Dental implant treatment usually cannot be instituted in this phase.
Phase 2 - Disease Control Phase
This phase is an important one. After the crucial diagnostic data is collected, all the esthetic, mechanical and biological parameters are outlined. The various OPTIONS of teeth replacement would be discussed and the TYPE of teeth replacement could be finalised here.
For dental implant treatment to be successful and long lasting, the mouth should be in a healthy, stable state before dental implants are placed. This phase involves controlling all the disease that is present in the mouth, to prepare the patient to have a healthy foundation on which the dental implants can function well. This phase may take a extended period of time, depending on the severity of the problems initially presented.
Phase 3 - Reconstruction Phase
This phase is the stage where dental implants and replacement teeth are placed to restore function and esthetics. This phase may also be extended, depending on the type of replacement teeth chosen.
Phase 4 - Maintenance Phase
Like a car, there must be periodic maintenance implemented to ensure the smooth functioning of the car. Likewise, after dental implant treatment, there must be a maintenance protocol to ensure that the implant and replacement teeth will last as long as possible.
The above write-up gives an idea of how dental surgeons plan a complex procedure like dental implant treatment. Any one who is considering dental implant treatment has to understand and accept that there could be various factors that NEED TO BE ADDRESSED PRIOR to the actual dental implant treatment and a STRICT MAINTENANCE PROTOCOL must be followed after the implant treatment.