Dental implants are a great option to replace irreparably damaged and missing teeth. But, if you’ve never had a dental implant before, you may be wondering what to expect before and after dental implants are performed. Before every procedure, including dental implant treatment, there are things patients should know to get prepared and things they should keep in mind after the procedure is finished. Certainly, every patient may have a different experience with their dental implant treatment depending on how severe dental issues are and how many implants are being placed, but it’s helpful to know generally what to expect and what you can do as a patient to make your procedure and healing go as smoothly as possible.
Preparing for Dental Implants
The first step to receiving a dental implant(s) is to discuss the needed treatment. Every patient is different and the process may differ greatly depending on the situation. We try our best to make the implant process as painless and quick as possible but like most surgeries, implants require time to allow the patients’ bodies to properly heal and accept the implant.
Sometimes, in best-case scenarios, a temporary tooth can be fabricated at the same time as the implant placement. Conversely, an infected site or site with minimal bone might need a few months of healing prior to implant placement or the crown being made on top of the implant.
Due to the many different options that dental implants give us, we encourage patients to come in for a free evaluation to discuss the course of treatment that’s right for them.
Once you know you’re a good candidate for dental implants here’s what you might expect from the various procedures that occur during or before an implant is placed:
Tooth Extraction (with or without bone grafting): This process usually involves moderate post-op pain that may vary from no pain whatsoever to 7-10 days of mild to moderate discomfort.
Implant Placement This procedure usually involves less time and is less painful than the extraction phase of treatment.
Implant Uncovering: If an implant is buried below the gums at the time of placement we may need to reaccess the site. This usually involves the use of a laser and patients experience very little discomfort.
Implant restoration: This involves placing the crown/denture/ or full arch treatment on top of the implant and is usually painless.
[Some of the above treatments can be completed at the same visit for added convenience and a decreased timeframe]
During the Dental Implant Placement
After your dentist clears you and the mouth is prepped for dental implants, you’ll undergo the dental implant procedure. This involves the most invested time in the dental implant process. During the procedure, you will have an implant inserted into the preplanned position. This implant works to replace the original tooth’s root system and will be what holds the artificial tooth(or other restoration) in its place. You will be numb during this procedure so you will feel no pain. Varying levels of sedation can also be discussed to help an anxious patient. Immediately following the dental implant placement, you can expect to be completely numb in the area for the most part of the day. Pain meds and instructions will be provided at the time of your visit. In the following few days, you will likely experience mild to moderate discomfort in the area that can often be controlled with a combination of ibuprofen and acetaminophen (Be sure to check with your physician that you can take these medications).
Healing Following Dental Implant Placement.
After the dental implant is inserted into the gums, time is necessary in order for the bone to start to heal around the implant. Dental implants are made of titanium, which can actually fuse with the jaw bone and become a permanent post. However, this takes time – up to a few months. So, patients can typically expect to wait this amount of time before receiving their permanent artificial tooth to be applied to the implant post.
Once the dental implant is healed, the artificial tooth, typically in the form of a dental crown, can be applied. Patients may then go about their lives using this tooth just as they do their natural teeth.
Caring For Your Dental Implant
A common misconception about dental implants is that they are for life with no strings attached. Unfortunately, however, this is not exactly the case.
Implants are not susceptible to decay, however, just like natural teeth can experience bone/gum disease (periodontitis), implants can be attacked by the same types of bacteria and cause bone/gum disease around the titanium surface (peri-implantitis). The good news is that caring for your implant is much like caring for your natural teeth.
Care of dental implants is much like any of your other teeth as they require regular flossing, brushing, and professional dental cleanings. We recommend that patients with dental implants use a water-flosser. We have seen an obvious difference in gum health surrounding implants in patients who keep them clean.
Getting Dental Implants from Riverbend Family Dentistry
Are you looking for a tooth replacement option that is long-lasting and functions and looks just like your original tooth? Dental implants are a great option for people who want to address dental issues who don’t want to consider dentures or dental bridges and want a more permanent option for tooth replacement. Riverbend Family Dentistry offers a number of cosmetic and general dental treatment options, including dental implants. Find out more about our dental services and dental implants provided at our office in Jupiter, Florida from our website today.