Tips to Consider Following Dental Implant Surgery
If your dentist has recommended dental implants to replace missing teeth, you may be feeling some uncertainty about the procedure and what to expect afterwards. Fortunately, dental implant surgery is very safe and few people experience any complications. Here’s some information to help you know what to expect during recovery as well as what happens in the implant procedure following the surgery.
The surgery experience may vary depending on whether or not you require a bone graft. If you have sufficient bone to support the titanium implant, the implant will be placed in the jawbone using either local or conscious sedation. If there is adequate bone in the site and if the post is secure in the bone, no bone graft is required. A gum-level healing cap is then placed over the implant until the implant has fused to the bone completely. This typically takes between two and four months. The entire procedure is usually very comfortable.
Healing after Surgery
Occasionally, there is some pain, swelling, and possible bruising directly following the surgery. This can be alleviated with over-the-counter painkillers and ice packs. The discomfort generally only lasts a few days. You will be directed to avoid strenuous exercise for a few days. You cannot smoke for at least several days following the surgery.
You can help speed up recovery by resting, rinsing with salt-water beginning two days after surgery, and brushing the teeth gently. Prior preventative dental care will speed up recovery and reduce chances of infection that could slow the implant process down.
Follow Diet Guidelines
Your dentist will give you diet guidelines that include soft foods you can eat while you heal. It’s important to follow these guidelines so that your gums can heal quickly. It’s also usually a good idea to avoid sugary, acidic foods while you heal.
You’ll need a few months’ time to allow the implant to fuse with the bone. During this time, you’ll have removable teeth until the abutment and crown can be placed on the post. This final phase may include a few appointments to ensure you’re ready and to get a precise match for the crown or crowns.