A dental implant surgery is a procedure that should give you a brighter and better smile. It entails having a replacement tooth inserted in your gums, which binds with your jawbone. As such, an implant mimics the look and functions of your natural teeth.
While the process sounds intimidating, it can be done in a dental surgeon’s clinic with the use of anesthesia. After a few hours, you can go home with your newly implanted root, but you’ll experience discomfort as your mouth heals.
If you’re wondering how to prepare for this dental operation, read on for details about what to expect before, during, and after sitting on the implant surgery chair.
What To Expect Before A Dental Implant Surgery
As with other surgical procedures, a dental implant requires a patient to prepare for weeks. Here’s how the preparation process will look like:
You’ll Be Asked To Get A Dental X-Ray
During your first visit to a dental clinic, such as Aria Dental and similar offices near you, the dentist or oral surgeon will ask you to undergo a comprehensive dental examination, including a dental X-ray. This allows the dental specialist to assess the best treatment options for you. Other dental procedures may be requested to ascertain that you’re a good candidate for a dental implant.
Your Dentist Will Create A Dental Impression
Alongside an X-ray, dentists use this tool to plan where to put the implant and how. A dental impression is a physical representation of your teeth and jaw. It can show your dental problems like malocclusion and other issues that could impact the implant. With this, your dentist can accurately decide how to go through with the surgery.
To get this, you’ll be asked to bite into a U-shaped tray filled with a soft and colored substance. The device needs to stay in your mouth for a few minutes until it hardens. As your impression hardens, it’ll be used by the dental staff to create the crown to be used on top of the implant.
You May Need To Have A Tooth Extracted
Depending on your specific dental conditions and any issue you’re facing, the dentist will get rid of your problematic tooth to better prepare you for the implant.
If you have a relatively healthy jawbone, the doctor may perform the procedure after the extraction. Generally, though, you’ll be asked to come back for the surgery a few weeks or months later to allow you to heal before the surgeon places your new tooth.
Your Dentist May Prescribe Pre-Surgery Medication
In some instances, your oral surgeon may ask you to take specific types of antibiotics a few days before your schedule to avoid potential problems with your implants. To maintain oral health, the dentist may require you to use an antibacterial oral wash to avoid contaminants from developing inside your mouth.
Food Intake Limits
Your oral surgeon may recommend you to take a light meal a few hours into the implant, if you’re going to be placed under local anesthesia. An empty stomach is recommended prior to intravenous (IV) sedation, so it’s advised that you don’t eat anything the night before the procedure.
As with most procedures, a dental surgery entails costs, so you may need to file dental insurance claims to be reimbursed.
What To Expect During A Dental Implant Surgery
A patient who’s about to go under the dental knife will have to prepare for a few weeks or months before the actual procedure. Expect the following actions from your oral surgeon during the procedure itself:
The dentist will numb your mouth with the use of either a local anesthesia or an IV sedation.
To place the root implant in your jawbone, the surgeon will make an incision or drill into your gums to replace your missing tooth.
After placing the implant, the dentist will cover the gums to help prevent infection.
Depending on where your missing tooth was, your dentist may place a temporary denture over the implant. This is done to temporarily replace the missing tooth and help regain its functions.
After the implant, you can go home and start the recovery process.
What To Expect After A Dental Implant Surgery
A patient’s healing process is unique, but generally, it’ll take up to six months before the second phase of the surgery could take place. That’s because the bone needs to grow around the implant to stay in place.
Before this could happen, you’ll immediately experience the following symptoms once the anesthesia wears off a few days later:
Bleeding: Blood may ooze out of the affected site for up to three days. Depending on the location of the tooth replacement, you may experience bleeding from your nose—although this is an exception rather than the rule.
Bruising: With blood coming up closer to your gums or the skin surface during the healing process, you may experience bruising on your face. This is a normal process and could last up to three days following the surgery.
Dizziness And Drowsiness: Immediately after the surgery, you might feel lightheaded because of the anesthesia’s side effects. An anesthetic can also impact your senses and can make you drowsy. For these reasons, it’s best to have someone drive you home after a dental implant procedure.
Fever: Increased body temperature is another common symptom following a surgical procedure. However, excessively high temperatures may signal an infection. For instance, if you develop a fever above 101.5 °F or 38.6 °C, seek an appointment with your physician.
Nausea And Vomiting: Some people may feel uneasy after the dentist administers anesthesia. Generally, this sensation disappears after three hours.
Pain And Discomfort: This is the most common aftereffect of any surgical procedure, dental implants included. Your body will take time to get used to having a foreign object, so you can expect some pain and discomfort.
Swelling: Because of the trauma from the dental operation, your face may become swollen for two to three days after the implant, especially if bone grafting is involved.
These symptoms are normal and don’t necessarily mean there’s an infection or any problem with the procedure. However, if some symptoms persist and don’t dissipate following rest and self-care, you’d need to contact your dentist or doctor.
Final Thoughts on Dental Implant Surgery
The dental implant surgery process typically takes a few weeks up to six months to finish, in order to give enough time for your body to recover. While complications are rare, patients are required to follow recommendations coming from their oral surgeon with regard to maintaining dental care and hygiene.
Ultimately, knowing what to expect, getting enough rest, as well as taking the required medications are keys to a successful surgery.