If you need to replace damaged or missing teeth, your dentist may recommend dental implants. The implant procedure involves the insertion of artificial tooth roots into the jawbone. The implanted roots allow dentists to place crowns or replacement teeth in the gap.
Implants are a good option for patients with one or more missing teeth. They look and function like natural teeth. Find out what to expect after the dental implant procedure.
Dental implant surgery begins with the removal of the damaged tooth where applicable. You may require several weeks to fully recover from the extraction. Proper aftercare will help prevent complications or infections.
Some patients require bone regeneration or bone grafting before the implant process. Strengthening the jawbone will provide strong support and stability for the implant. Bone healing will typically take six to eight weeks..
To begin the dental implant placement, the surgeon will cut the gum to access the jawbone. Next, a hole is drilled before placing a titanium implant to replace the missing tooth root. The procedure is performed under sedation or anesthesia. Recovering from this stage can also take several months.
As the bone heals, the implant will fuse with the bone tissue. The titanium material can fuse permanently with the bone, ensuring stability. Depending on the location of the missing tooth, a temporary denture may be placed during the healing period.
The final part of the dental implant procedure involves attaching the replacement teeth or crowns to the abutments. It can take some time to get used to the new tooth. It is vital to follow aftercare instructions to ensure everything heals as expected. You may experience some discomfort after the surgery.
Minor side effects can include swelling, slight bruising, or minor bleeding. The dental surgeon may recommend antibiotics or pain medication to provide comfort during the healing period. If your pain becomes unmanageable, contact the surgeon immediately.
Taking good care of your implants will increase their success rate. Smoking or using tobacco products can increase the risk of dental implant failure. It will mean having the implant removed and beginning the process again after several months.
Ensure you maintain a good oral hygiene routine after surgery. Take care of your teeth and gums through daily brushing and flossing. Specialized toothbrushes, called interdental brushes can work effectively to clean around the implants. Getting your regular professional dental cleanings and checkups will help keep your implants healthy.
To ensure your implants last a lifetime, maintain good oral health.
Avoid harmful habits such as using your teeth to open bottles or packages
Avoid chewing ice, candy, and other hard foods
If you grind your teeth, talk to your doctor about a custom night guard
Maintain regular dental appointments for cleanings and exams
Dental implants can help replace teeth lost to tooth decay, gum disease, injury, or infection. Implants are not recommended for growing children. The procedure must wait until the jaw is fully developed. If you smoke, the dental surgeon will recommend you quit before the treatment.
For more on what to expect after the dental implant procedure, visit Jonny Fisher DDS at our Pullman, Washington office. Call (509) 383-8300 to schedule an appointment today.