Dental Implants: What to Expect Before, During, and After Surgery
Dental implants serve as a substitute for missing teeth and are an exceptional restorative dentistry option when looking to improve and complete your smile. The prosthetics consist of a titanium screw, abutment, and crown. Dr. Gregory S. Strain places dental implants at his Metairie, LA, office. Before undergoing the dental implant procedure, patients should understand what the surgery and recovery entail.
What to Expect Before Surgery
Before your dental implant can be placed, Dr. Strain must determine if you are a good candidate for the procedure. Candidates must be in good oral health and have adequate jawbone mass to support implants. Patients with insufficient jawbone tissue may undergo a bone graft to strengthen the jaw. Bone grafts can help restore candidacy for dental implants. An alternative to a bone graft is a mini dental implant, which is smaller than a traditional implant. Your evaluation may include x-rays, a review of your medical history, and the drafting of a custom treatment plan. Patients should use the time before surgery to stock and prepare a recovery room. A recovery room is often the bedroom in the patient’s home.
What to Expect During Dental Implant Surgery
The dental implant process, which includes the initial placement of your implant through recovery and the final placement of your artificial tooth, can take several months. These are the major steps:
- Dental implant placement: After administering local anesthesia and other sedation methods as needed, Dr. Strain will make a small incision in the gum line as well as a small hole in the jawbone. Then, a titanium post will be inserted into the hole and the incision will be sutured closed. Over the next four to six months, the implant will fuse with the surrounding jawbone through a natural process called osseointegration.
- Abutment placement: In the months following your implant placement, gum tissue will grow over the post. Once your implant has fused to the surrounding jawbone, a second surgery will be scheduled. Dr. Strain will make an incision in your gums to expose the implant. Then, he will attach an abutment to the dental implant. This will take about two weeks to heal.
- Artificial tooth placement: After the two weeks, the gum tissue around the abutment will heal and your permanent prosthetic tooth will be attached to the abutment. An impression is made of your mouth and remaining teeth and a realistic-looking artificial tooth will be manufactured. The prosthetic can be removable or permanently fixed, depending on your needs.
From initial consultation to final placement of your crown, the implant process can take up to several months, but results can last a lifetime.
Dental Implant Recovery
Swelling, tenderness, and minor bruising are often experienced in the days following the placement of your dental implant or abutment. Dr. Strain may prescribe pain medication to help you manage any discomfort. After the placement of your dental implant, it may take five to seven days for discomfort and swelling to subside. During the first week of recovery, patients should:
- Not disturb the surgical area
- Brush their teeth gently
- Rest often
- Refrain from smoking and drinking alcohol
- Avoid hot foods and drinks
Contact Dr. Gregory S. Strain Today
In addition to serving as a superior cosmetic tooth replacement option, dental implants prevent jawbone recession and restore oral function. From initial consultation to the final placement of your dental crown, the dental implant process can take up to several months, but the results can last a lifetime. To learn if you are a candidate for the dental implant procedure, contact our office online or call (504) 838-8118.