Dental implants are considered to be the gold standard for tooth replacement. Eager to experience their many great benefits, you are looking forward to the opportunity for a full, complete smile once again. But are you also worried that having them put into place will cause much pain and discomfort? In this article, a dentist shares what you can expect when preparing for oral surgery and why you have nothing to fear.
What is the Process for Receiving Dental Implants?
When arriving for your dental implant procedure, your dentist will first administer local anesthesia. This will ensure that the nerves around the socket are thoroughly numbed so you do not feel any pain during your surgery. Once your dentist is satisfied that you are ready, they will move forward by making one or more small incisions in your gums to expose the underlying jawbone. Carefully placing each implant into the bone, they will position and angle it for maximum support before closing the gum tissue and placing a protective cap over it to ensure proper healing.
If you experience dental anxiety of any kind, it is possible to talk to your dentist about also receiving sedation dentistry to help calm your nerves and allow for a more positive experience.
What to Expect During Recovery
Once your dental implant surgery is complete, your dentist will instruct you to spend the next 3-6 months recovering at home. It is necessary that your dental implants fuse with your bone tissues correctly, as this will create a firm foundation for your customized restoration. However, it is completely normal to experience some mild discomfort and soreness in the days after your procedure. It is recommended that you do not wait until the anesthesia wears off to take an over-the-counter pain reliever.
It is also helpful if you follow these tips and recommendations during the healing phase of treatment:
- Avoid hot or spicy foods in the first 1-2 weeks, as these could potentially cause an infection to form
- Rinse with warm saltwater to help further the healing process and reduce bacteria inside the mouth
- Use a cold compress to reduce swelling and alleviate discomfort
- Maintain good oral hygiene but be careful when brushing around your surgical sites, as you do not want an infection to develop
- Maintain your appointments with your dentist during this time, as they will need to make sure everything is healing correctly
Recovery after any oral surgery can cause slight discomfort. However, as long as you stick to the instructions provided by your dentist, you’ll be feeling like your normal self in no time and preparing to enjoy a healthy, beautiful, and complete smile once again.
About the Author
Dr. Mariliza LaCap has more than two decades working in the oral healthcare field, completing her Doctor of Dental Surgery degree from Columbia University School of Dental & Oral Surgery, graduating in the top 10% of her class. At Washington Dental Associates, she and her colleagues are pleased to provide dental implants as a safe and effective way to replace missing teeth. If you or a loved one are suffering from tooth loss and want a permanent solution, contact us at (201) 453-4863.