Dental implants are titanium screws that are surgically placed into the jawbone. This is when a tooth has been removed due to injury or decay. The titanium screw acts as the root of the tooth and supports a crown (false tooth) or bridge (several teeth). Below we will explain what to expect before, during and after dental implant surgery.
Before The Procedure
It is important that your gums and jawbone are healthy in order to support the dental implant. Your dentist will best advise you of this during a consolation. Some dentists are reluctant to use dental implants if you are a smoker, have received chemotherapy, or if you are diabetic.
Most individuals will have the procedure done under local anaesthetic, meaning that although you will be awake, you will feel no pain. Many patients also choose to have a sedative to lessen any anxieties.
During The Procedure
Firstly the dentist will make sure that the anaesthetic has worked and that you are fully relaxed. They will then proceed to cut a small flap into your gum, where the implant will be inserted. They will then drill a small hole into the bone. This is where the screw or abutment will be placed.
Now, this can be dome in one or two stages. The one stage option involves the titanium screw and the false tooth being fitted at the same time. The two stage option means that the titanium screw is fitted in one appointment, while a follow up appointment is needed for the fixing of the false tooth. The two stage option is used when there needs to be extra time for the bone and gum to heal, which usually takes several months. During the insertion of the titanium screw, you will feel pressure but it should not be painful.
What To Expect Following Dental Implant Surgery
The first thing to note after insertion of dental implants, is that there will be a little bleeding. This can be resolved by biting gently down on a piece of sterile gauze. Bleeding should stop after one hour. If bleeding persists, then you must seek medical treatment. It is important that you refrain from heavy exercise for at least 24 hours, post-surgery, because of the risk of bleeding.
You should not smoke for 24 hours as this will slow down the healing process, but you should brush your teeth as normal, but gently. There may be some slight swelling of the area, but this should reduce within 2 days.