The dental implant is a material engrafted to the bone of the jaw mainly to serve as a support for dental prostheses like bridges, crowns, dentures, or facial prostheses. It is important to follow dental implant aftercare procedures to prevent it from breaking which might affect the dental restoration and the surrounding teeth. Dental Excellence’s clinic in Woden, ACT suggests that by doing so, the healing process will be shorter and you will be able to maintain your dental implants for a longer period of time.
Dental Implant Procedure
The dental implant is invented to act as the replacement of the missing tooth root. Its main purpose is to support different kinds of dental restorations like artificial tooth, crowns, and bridges. As you may already know, a tooth cannot just stand without support from underneath or the root. When the root goes missing due to injuries or dental issues, dental implants will take their place and serve their function. Another option for missing teeth is the denture, find out more at CustomDentureClinic.com.au.
The procedure for dental implants are as follows:
- Thorough teeth examination. These include a physical exam, laboratories, and X-ray, whichever is deemed necessary by the dentist. At this stage, your jaw, gums, and teeth will be examined to see if you are fit for oral surgery. The location of the implants will be determined and if you passed the tests, you will proceed to stage 2.
- Before the oral surgery, you will be induced with anesthesia which is possibly followed by extraction. This happens when the site allocated for implants is still consisting of damaged bone or tooth.
- After the extraction, a bone graft will be placed on the site to prepare a base for the implants. You will have to wait for 6 months as you need to complete the healing process before the actual insertion of the implants.
- Once the site is fully healed and ready for an implant, the dental implant will be placed accordingly into the bone. It will be covered by a dental cap and the gums will be sealed. At this point, you have to begin another healing process which will depend on the quality of the bone graft. Oftentimes, it takes 3 to 6 months for implants to fully integrate themselves into the bone.
- When the dental implants are fully healed, the introduction of the dental prosthesis will follow. These components include crown, artificial tooth, dentures, and bridges, whichever is applicable.
Dental Implant Aftercare
Since this oral surgery is a very complicated and intricate process, it requires extra precautions and aftercare procedures to ensure its success. Usually, the dentist will give their patients a list of things to avoid and things to do to prevent damages to the newly installed dental implant and prosthetics.
The aftercare procedure includes the following things to do:
- Wait for at least an hour before removing the gauze. Let it sit for a little while to prevent bleeding.
- Bite it down gently from time to time. Make sure not to be too harsh in doing so.
- Eat soft foods only such as soups, fruit juices, oatmeal, and scrambled eggs.
- Place an icepack on the sore area.
- Rest as much as you can. This will help make the healing process to become effective and quicker.
- Take anti-inflammatory drugs to reduce the pain.
- Consult no one but your dentist when pain, swelling, and redness occur.
- Continue your regular oral care regimen but be gentle on cleaning the treated area.
Things to avoid after dental implant surgery:
- Avoid tobaccos and cigarettes until the swelling subsides.
- Do not consume alcoholic beverages for two days.
- Stay away from hard foods like peanuts, apples, or corns.
- Keep away from touching or disturbing the treated site.
- Do not use a straw and avoid lip pouting or excessive facial expressions.
- Avoid sodas or acidic drinks.
- Extreme physical activities are also prohibited while you are on the healing period.
- Restrict from chewing with the treated area.
After the oral surgery, you might feel certain things like bleeding, swelling, pain, and bruising. Note that these are normal effects of the surgery and these are expected to fade in 1 to 2 days. However, if the complications got worse, give your dentist a visit immediately.
Risks of Neglected Dental Implants
Neglecting your dental implant by not following the safety precautions and aftercare procedures might lead to serious dental issues. Just like other oral surgeries, a dental implant also exposes a patient to certain risks which include:
- Infection. This often happens when the treated site is not cleaned regularly.
- Damage to the surrounding teeth. Injuries often take place if the dental implant is constantly pressured before it even heals properly.
- Nerve damage. You would not want to experience this complication as it causes unbearable pain not only on the treated site but on nearby gums and jaw as well.
- Sinus issues. This often occurs when the implant is placed in the upper jaw.