What to Expect After Dental Implant Surgery

Although dental implants have become more common in recent years, it‘s important to remember that the procedure is nonetheless a big deal. Essentially, the tooth root is replaced with metal, screwlike posts into the jawbone and a new tooth or set of fake teeth are placed in the mouth. For those individuals that opt for the procedure, it is usually the result of specific circumstances that cause consideration of this dental option. Such situations include not having a fully developed jawbone, missing multiple teeth and the inability to wear dentures, among others. 

A dental consultation will determine if a person is a good candidate based on additional factors like whether the patient is in generally good oral health, any other health problems that could jeopardize bone healing and if they have enough bone to securely fuse with the implants. However, the good news is,” Implants provide a strong foundation for fixed or removable replacement teeth and help maintain the existing bone,“ states Dr. LIsa Rangel who does dental implants in New Jersey.

The process does require a mindset and a commitment to devote several months from start to finish.  Finding out as much as possible about what to expect after dental implant surgery is an important step as one prepares for this medical undertaking. One important factor to bear in mind about proceeding with dental implants is a history with orofacial pain. If a candidate regularly experiences chronic pain in the jaw, mouth, head, face or neck, it probably makes good sense to get an Orofacial Pain Diagnosis. Orofacial pain is a common occurrence in the general population with the most common non-serious causes being sinusitis, TMJ or jaw clenching, infections or cracked teeth, and in most cases, there are numerous effective ways to minimize symptoms and reduce and manage it. With this condition under control, the patient can move on with implant surgery, needing only to contend with any symptoms related to and following the actual surgery.

First Few Days

During the first few hours after the implant procedure, tiredness is common as with any surgery.  Pain at the implant site should be expected, which generally occurs two to four hours after any anesthetic has worn off. Pain management at this stage is fairly easy with over the counter painkillers.

When it comes to eating, only liquids or pureed foods should be consumed.  Straws should never be used at this point since sucking through a straw creates pressure in the mouth which can stress the fresh implant(s) and induce bleeding.

To help with the healing process, good nutrition and having regular meals are integral in order to maintain energy levels.

During the first few days, the healing process will be on its way but there are still a few precautions that should be taken. For patients who wear dentures, it is advised to do so as little as possible to improve the healing process of the dental implant. Wearing dentures can somewhat aggravate the sensitive area around the implant, resulting in slower healing as well as potential bleeding. Of course, necessary use while eating is fine.

Possible Complications

Overall, implants have a success rate of about 95%, but like any surgical procedure, there are some possible complications. Failed implants can occur as an infection, which can develop during or after surgery. If a surgeon places an implant too close to a nerve, damage to the nerve or tissue may occur. However, the likelihood of these problems happening is rare if your dental professional is reputable and experienced. With continued care of one’s implants as normally practiced with natural teeth, implants can last for decades. 

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