Dental implant surgery is the new standard of care for missing teeth. While dentures have been used for centuries, these teeth restorations only replace the portion of the tooth above the gumline. There’s no replacement for the roots of your teeth, resulting in the loss of an important biological interaction.
The bone of your jaw and roots of your teeth form a system that normally works together. As you bite and chew, your natural teeth move a tiny bit, and this stimulates the bone tissue in the jaw. When teeth are extracted and replaced with dentures, this bone interaction is lost and over time bone tissue slowly erodes. Dental implants re-create this stimulation, creating teeth restorations that more closely mimic natural teeth.
But do implants hurt?
The dental implant procedure can sound daunting, since gum tissue is cut, and holes are drilled into bone. Some implant procedures require bone grafts as well, and from the patient’s perspective, this can all sound intense.
However, these fears are usually groundless. Contemporary dental anesthetics and procedures take much of the pain out of any dental procedure, including treatments, such as root canals and tooth extractions. Sure, there’s often soreness after anesthetics wear off, but this is typically handled with over the counter pain medications or mild prescription drugs.
You may be surprised to find that implants are often performed midday, and the patient returns to their regular routine immediately after the procedure. Some patients who have had implants, as well as extractions, rate the implants as more pain-free. As long as you’re prepared with the recommended pain medication, you may be good to go as soon as your implant is in.
Note that procedures that include bone grafts may require general anesthetic. If this is the case for you, you’ll need to arrange someone to drive you home from your appointment and you shouldn’t operate dangerous equipment for about 24 hours after surgery.
Self-care after your implant
The implant is the first stage in the tooth replacement process, so it’s not a single-stage procedure. The implant and bone need time to bond, a process called osseointegration. This takes time, and how long that is can depend on the procedure you had and the condition of your jaw.
During that time, you’ll likely be restricted to a soft food diet to avoid disrupting the osseointegration process. It’s important that you follow aftercare instructions because your implant is vulnerable until a certain point in the healing stages. You’ll receive a prescription for an antibiotic because the bone is exposed during your procedure. It’s important to take this as directed and for the full length of the prescription since it’s a measure taken to prevent infections from starting.
Every dental implant surgery has its own challenges based on the condition of tissue in your mouth. Choosing an experienced dental implant specialist like Dr. Gause is the first step in a successful implant procedure.
Contact Smile Design Manhattan today to schedule your initial implant consultation. You can phone directly or use the appointment request tool on the website. You’ll learn more about the implant procedure and the advantages it offers you.