If you’re preparing for dental implants, congratulations! Not only are you making a worthwhile investment in your smile, but you’ll be able to enjoy it for decades or longer. But before you schedule your surgery, do you know what to expect? Have you talked to your dentist about the process and recovery time with an implant procedure? It’s important that you have no misconceptions prior to any type of surgery, which is why you should read on to find out how your new smile will be achieved and how long you’ll need to wait to reap the full benefits of it.
The First Stage: Dental Implant Surgery
Once you’ve been given the green light to move forward with surgery, your dentist will begin by administering local anesthesia to make you as comfortable as possible. Next, depending on the number of implants you will need, he will make one or more incisions in your gums to expose your jawbone. After identifying the exact location for the implants, he will surgically place them, positioning them in the right spot for maximum stability.
Once your implants are placed, he will close up the surgical sites and send you home to heal. Over the course of the next 3-6 months, osseointegration will occur, which is the fusing of the implant(s) to the bone and tissue.
After you’re fully healed, you will return to the dentist’s office to have your abutments and final restoration (i.e. dental crown, implant bridge, or implant-retained denture) secured into place.
The entire dental implant process can take as long as six months.
The Second Stage: Recovery
When at home after having your implants surgically placed, it will be imperative that you follow certain guidelines to ensure your implants and gums heal properly. Some of these rules include:
- Avoid blowing your nose, if possible.
- Don’t use a straw, as this can dislodge blood clots and create unnecessary pressure on the surgical areas.
- Use a cold compress to reduce swelling and pressure.
- Avoid eating hot foods as well as hard, crunchy foods. After two weeks, only incorporate foods that can be easily cut with a fork.
- Don’t smoke, as this can make it nearly impossible for osseointegration to occur.
Since every patient is different, the recovery times may vary, but on average, you can expect the entire recovery process to take about one month. Much of this is determined by how many implants you received, if you needed any pre-implant dental work (bone graft), the status of your overall health, and how well you followed orders for treatment and recovery.
As long as you maintain good oral hygiene and stick to the recommended guidelines provided by your dentist, you will be healed and enjoying your new smile in no time at all. Trust that your decision to receive dental implants is a good one, just make sure you do everything you can to make your investment worth your while.
About the Author
Dr. Mark Gray wants you to have all the information you need to feel confident about your decision to move forward with dental implants. This superior method of tooth replacement has multiple benefits, but it also requires surgery and ample recovery time before patients can fully enjoy their new and improved smile. As a highly-trained and skilled dentist based in Memorial, TX, Dr. Gray is equipped to walk you through the entire process, offering valuable insight into the process and tips on how to heal safely and effectively. As a graduate from the University of Texas Dental School in Memorial, he and his team will make sure you are fully prepared as you begin your path to a new smile. To find out more about what to expect with dental implants, visit our website or call (281) 493-9395.