Dental implants restore missing teeth to give patients renewed function, health, and aesthetics. Missing teeth can lead to bone loss, slurred speech, eating issues, and insecurity. Thankfully, patients have a lasting solution to repair teeth and restore health with dental implants. After the procedure, it is important you follow your dental provider’s instructions to ensure a smooth recovery. Here is the Atlanta Smiles guide to dental implant recovery!
What Does a Dental Implant Procedure Require?
Dental implants are a complex procedure requiring multiple visits, including surgery. While dental implants offer many benefits, they also require time and financial commitment.
The Dental Implant Process
The implant process includes several steps. Here is a brief outline of what to expect.
Step 1: Consultation – Discuss the procedure, including the timeline and costs.
Step 2: Prepare the Jaw – In some cases, the patient needs a bone graft to restore the jaw before placing the implant.
Step 3: Place the Implant – Implant surgery includes drilling a hole for the implant and then placing the implant into the jaw bone.
Step 4: Place the Crown – After the implant heals, the dentist places the permanent crown over the implant.
Each step after the consultation requires a recovery process. Our team is here to help each step of the way.
What is the Bone Grafting Recovery Process?
If the patient requires bone grafting, the site must heal before moving forward with the implant placement. It typically takes several months for the bone graft to heal. The procedure is less invasive than the implant and only requires local anesthesia. The patient should carefully follow the dentist’s advice to care for the site during the healing process.
The Dental Implant Recovery Process
Most patients recover well from dental implant surgery when they carefully follow the doctor’s instructions. We crafted this guide to dental implants recovery to ensure patients have a smooth recovery. It takes time for the implant to fuse with the bone. Good oral hygiene is essential during this critical time.
Day of the Surgery
Dental implant surgery requires local anesthesia and sometimes sedation. Patients should plan to have someone else drive them home to ensure safety. During the first 24 hours, patients may experience discomfort and pain. Over-the-counter pain medication should help with pain management.
Avoid touching the implant area. Rinse the mouth with warm salt water to help prevent infection. The doctor may also prescribe antibiotics to help avoid infection in some cases. The face and area near the affected area may swell. Place an ice pack on the facial area outside the implant site to help reduce swelling.
Do not eat hard or hot foods. Stick with soft foods like soup, mashed potatoes, smoothies, scrambled eggs, or other applicable foods. Avoid chewing on the impacted side of the mouth. Also, do not use a straw for drinking.
Day Two After Surgery
Continue with soft food and cold compresses as needed. The patient may begin brushing their teeth gently and with care. Swelling, slight bleeding, and pain may continue for a few days.
Day Three After Surgery
The patient may return to work or other activities. Continue using over-the-counter pain medicine as needed. Also, introduce solid food slowly. Avoid foods that cause pain.
The implant takes roughly 4 months to heal and integrate completely before the crown can be placed. Your doctor will work with you to determine the right time for crown placement.
The crown placement process is quicker and less invasive than the implant process. The patient should not require much recovery from the crown placement.
Caring for Dental Implants
As we discussed, the road to full recovery after implants takes several months. Once completed, a dental implant functions and looks like a natural tooth. To maintain the implant’s health, brush and floss your teeth daily. Also, schedule routine dental checkups to ensure the stability and health of the implant.
Quality Dental Restorations
While more complex than many other dental procedures, implant surgery offers a long-term solution to replace missing teeth and restore your smile. The Atlanta Smiles dental team has extensive experience with dental implant procedures. We’d love to discuss whether a dental implant is the best option to achieve your cosmetic and oral health goals.