Dental implants provide a natural-looking and permanent option for replacing a missing tooth or several missing teeth. Missing teeth lead to bone resorption, which can cause additional dental problems and change the shape of your face. The natural appearance and functionality of dental implants make them a popular restoration for filling gaps in your smile.
Learn what to expect from a dental implant before and after by getting a free consultation at your local dental clinic.
What Are Dental Implants?
A dental implant has three parts; the implant post, the abutment, and the restoration. The implant post functions as a natural root. It provides a stable anchor for the abutment and restoration.
Your dentist drills a small hole in your jawbone inserts the implant and screws in the abutment and then fixes the crown, bridge, or denture plate with screws or bonding cement. This process typically lasts for four to nine months.
Dental implants function like natural teeth, offering an aesthetically pleasing and comfortable way to replace missing teeth. Convenient and durable, implants can last a lifetime with proper care. Some issues can affect the success of your dental implant before and after the procedure.
Candidates for Dental Implants
Good candidates for dental implants are generally healthy, with no signs of tooth decay or gum disease. They don’t use tobacco products, which severely inhibits healing. They have adequate bone in their jaws to support implants. They have the willingness to commit several months to the process.
Some medical conditions can increase the risk of dental implant surgery and post-surgical complications, including bleeding disorders, a history of radiation of the head and neck, osteoporosis and associated treatment, uncontrolled diabetes, and other autoimmune conditions.
If you have gingivitis or periodontitis, your dentist can address those issues with scaling, root planing, and antibiotics before undergoing dental implant surgery. You can also work with your doctor to manage any medical conditions that could otherwise complicate your surgery.
Patients with insufficient bone density to support implants may be prescribed bone graft or sinus lift procedures. A socket preservation bone graft protects the site of an extracted tooth from bone resorption, ensuring enough depth to support an implant.
A ridge augmentation bone graft widens the alveolar ridge to provide sufficient width for implant stability. You might need this procedure if you have been missing teeth for a while.
Dentists perform a sinus lift when bone resorption of the maxilla allows the sinus membrane to fall into the void. This misplacement increases the risk of an implant damaging the membrane.
To find out if you are a candidate for dental implant surgery, contact a dentist that offers a free consultation.
After the Procedure
The initial discomfort and swelling after your dental implant surgery should only last one to three days. You can take over-the-counter pain medication or a prescription given to you by your dentist to manage pain. You can also sleep with your head elevated on pillows and apply ice packs for 20 minutes, with 20 minutes of rest in between uses.
Most discomfort should subside in the first five to seven days. Complete recovery of the soft tissues takes about two weeks. You might be able to resume your normal diet during this time, but you should avoid chewing directly over the implant site until it has fully healed.
Contact your dentist if you experience severe pain, a discomfort that doesn’t lessen, bleeding after 48 hours, or oozing pus.
How to Make Your Implant Last?
Caring for your natural teeth and dental implant before and after the procedure is crucial for your oral health. Dental implants are designed to last a lifetime, although the restoration may need to be replaced after 15 to 20 years due to general wear and tear. To prolong your implants’ lifespan, there are a few simple actions you can take, including:
Maintain a thorough oral hygiene routine
Dental implants don’t require any specialised cleaning tools or products, so you can brush and floss regularly.
Ensure you brush and floss twice daily and use an alcohol-free mouthwash once daily to remove plaque buildup.
Opt for waxed floss rather than unwaxed varieties to prevent floss threads from becoming stuck under your restoration. Alternatively, invest in a Waterpik to gently remove debris between teeth without damaging the implant site.
Avoid using your teeth as tools
Although dental implants are extremely durable, the restoration can chip or break under excessive pressure. Avoid using your teeth to open packages or chew on non-food items like pens.
Visit your dentist regularly
Visiting your Available Dental Care dentist every six months can help them monitor your implant’s healing process and identify any oral health issues that could impact the success of the implant. Biannual visits also allow your dentist to thoroughly clean and examine to remove plaque and tartar buildup to prevent discolouration and gum disease.
Everything Else You Should Know About Dental Implants
To get a free consultation near you and learn more about the benefits of dental implants for your smile, contact Available Dental Care on (02) 4062 8763. Our skilled dental professionals can provide a comprehensive oral exam, address your oral health questions and outline a treatment plan so you can begin your journey to a rejuvenated smile.
Note: Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.
Comparing the Quality of Life of Patients Requesting Dental Implants Before and After Implant
Dental Implant Procedure
Are You a Viable Candidate for Endosteal Implants?