Dental implants are a permanent way to replaced damaged or missing teeth, and present an effective solution for a variety of injuries to the facial structure. While many patients are able to resume their normal activities within a day or two after the procedure, ensuring optimal results from a dental implant surgery involves some follow-up.
Replacing a tooth starts with a procedure to place the anchoring bridge for the implant into the jaw bone. While the surgery itself takes just a single afternoon, the full process of taking root, known as osseointegration, can take up to 6 months depending on the individual patient in question. Once the osseointegration process is finished, your dental implant will perform just like an organic tooth, and you can use it to chew a variety of food without a problem.
The recovery process should involve minimal pain, typically requiring only over the counter medications such as ibuprofen to help manage any discomfort. Most of our clients have their oral sutures removed about two weeks after surgery, and after this time usually do not need any special care outside of regular dental maintenance.
If your need for a dental implant stems from a failing tooth that needs to be extracted before a replacement can be installed, the healing process is extended. This is to allow the bone structure supporting the failing tooth to heal entirely before our surgery team can place a permanent implant to restore the tooth’s functionality. There may also be a healing period required for damage to the surrounding gums and soft tissue if the implant is needed because of facial trauma.
Alternatively, your dentist may suggest the placement of a temporary graft in the tooth socket to create a defined space for the implant as the bone heals. The necessity of a bone graft can also substantially impact the overall time it will take for your smile to be fully restored. Grafting is an effective treatment option for patients that lack healthy bone at the site of implant placement, encouraging your body to develop a new and healthier dental structure.
Dental implants can look, feel, and function just like your natural teeth, but there is some recovery time required. The full healing and integration process can take months, but patients can most often enjoy their favorite foods and pursuits within just a few weeks. Talk to our friendly staff to learn more about dental implants as a corrective treatment option.
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