Are You Having Dental Implant Surgery? Here’s What You Can Expect
- Posted on: Oct 20 2022
You’ve made the decision to have dental implant surgery. You’ve already gone through all the preliminary evaluations and testing with your Clock Tower Dental dentist in order to prepare for your dental implant procedure.
Included in the evaluations may be the following:
- A comprehensive dental examination where you may have had dental X-rays, 3D images taken and models made of your teeth and jaw
- A review of your medical history including any medical conditions or medications you may be taking – including prescription and any over-the-counter drugs and supplements. If you have a heart condition or orthopedic implants you may be prescribed antibiotics before your dental implant procedure to help prevent infection.
- A detailed plan developed for your treatment that is custom designed for you and your situation. This includes the number of teeth you are having replaced and the condition of your jawbone and remaining teeth.
- A decision about the anesthesia that will be used during your surgery whether it is local anesthesia, sedation, or general anesthesia. If you have sedation or general anesthesia you will need someone to bring you home after your procedure.
- Pre-surgical instructions on what you would be able to eat or drink before and after the procedure. This will depend on the type of anesthesia you are having for the dental implant procedure.
The dental implant procedure is done in stages so that you can have time to heal between stages. There are multiple steps to the process which may be done over time and include:
- Removing the damaged tooth
- Preparing the jawbone for grafting, if needed
- Placing the dental implant
- Waiting for the bone to grow and heal, is known as osseointegration
- Placing of the abutment
- Placement of the artificial tooth
Everyone heals differently. The dental implant procedure may take some time and most of this time depends on the healing process and the time it takes for osseointegration or the growth of the transplanted bone into your jaw. If the bone graft is minor it may be done at the same time as the implant surgery. After your gums have healed, your Clock Tower Dental dentist will make impressions of your teeth in order to create a custom replacement tooth.
After Your Dental Implant Procedure
The dental implant procedure may not be the same for everyone but the aftercare instructions you receive from your Clock Tower Dental dentist will help you recover sooner. The discomfort you may experience after the dental implant procedure may include the following:
- Swelling of your gums and face
- Bruising of your skin and gums
- Pain at the site of the implant
- Minor bleeding
During each phase of your dental implant surgery procedure and while your surgical site is healing, you will need to eat food that is softer and avoid biting too hard on the surgical area.
How You Can Maintain Your Dental Implants
While dental implants do not get tooth decay they can be affected by periodontal disease. It is important that they receive the same care you provide to your regular teeth:
- Practicing good oral hygiene by keeping your teeth, implants, and gums clean. For long-term care, you should be brushing and flossing your teeth regularly, and include your dental implants.
- Scheduling regular dental checkups and professional cleanings with your Clock Tower Dental dentist
- Not chewing hard candy or ice
- Not smoking
- Avoiding foods that will stain your teeth
- Not grinding your teeth
- Avoiding unhealthy habits like drinking too much alcohol or caffeine or smoking because they have a negative effect on your healing
Depending on the number and type of implants and replacement teeth you receive, the entire dental implant process can take three to nine months. After your dental implant placement is completed, you will need to schedule follow-up visits with your Clock Tower Dental dentist.
The success of your dental implant procedure depends on the care you give before and after your procedures. Being healthy and following good healthcare guidelines will help make your procedure successful.