The process of getting a dental implant is expensive and painful. It is a drawn out process because you need to make multiple return visits to the dentist for the different steps. However, if you know what to expect during the process, you will find it is nothing to be afraid of. Some of the procedures might seem traumatic, but in actuality most of the work is not too painful because the teeth have already lost their feeling. This article explains the general process so you can feel more relaxed about it.
The tooth extraction is usually the most painful part of the entire process. However, you have the option of being sedated during the operation. This will cost a few hundred more dollars, but if it's well worth it if you are particularly afraid of dental work. Every tooth extraction is it a little bit different. In some cases the teeth will come out quite easily, but in others the dentist will have to struggle to do a lot of prying and pulling in your mouth. You will be sore for a few days after.
After the tooth is extracted, the dentist will immediately apply a bone graft paste in your socket. This bone will graft with your bone and form a stable ground for the implant. The bone graft usually needs to settle and solidify in your mouth for at least 3 months before the implant can be installed. So, after the bone paste is applied, the dentist stitch up the hole and send you on your way. You will not need to return to the dentist for 3 months, but you will need to take it easy on that side of your mouth and avoid chewing hard stuff or sucking on straws for the first week.
You will need to return to a dentist for a fitting for the crown. This is usually done a couple weeks before the implant surgery. Implant surgery is actually not too painful, because the dentist this drilling into the grafted bone which should have no feeling. Nonetheless, you will be locally numbed in your mouth to make the surgery quicker and less painful. Remember, the gum will grow around the bone graft, so the dentist (such as one from Hartman Gary DDS MS Limited) will need to cut through it to install the implant. Luckily, gums heal very quickly and you should not feel any of this during the procedure.
All in all, the process might take several months, but it is nothing to fear. And, if you have dental insurance, you can feel even more comfortable.