Dental implants are placed using a surgical procedure. For your comfort, some form of anesthesia is used, although general anesthesia is not always necessary. You and your dentist can decide on the best combination of anesthesia and sedation, or whether general anesthesia will be the best choice.
How Implant Surgery Works
Dental implants are unique in the realm of cosmetic dentistry and tooth replacement because they replace the entire tooth. Dentures and bridges, by comparison, only replace the visible portion of the tooth. The implant’s root portion makes your new teeth look and feel just like your natural teeth. The root also helps stimulate growth in your jawbone so you do not suffer from jawbone atrophy in the long term.
Replacing the root also means implants require a surgical procedure. The root, made of titanium or a titanium alloy, is secured directly in the jawbone. The bone will naturally bond to the titanium, securing the new root. After the implant has healed and the bone has bonded to it, the crowns are added. In some cases, fewer implants are used to secure a removable denture. In these cases, you might receive a denture right away. Depending upon how many implants you receive, you might require local anesthesia with or without sedation, or general anesthesia.
After Implant Surgery
Taking good care of yourself after your surgery will help ensure that your implants heal thoroughly. Your after-care instructions might be different if you have local anesthesia and sedation compared to your instructions if you have general anesthesia. You’ll also have slightly different instructions based on the number of implants you have placed.
In general, self-care after dental implant surgery includes:
- Take any medications prescribed to you according to instructions
- Rest for a day or two after surgery
- Avoid strenuous activities for a few days
- Use heat and/or cold to reduce swelling
- Report any unusual symptoms to your dentist
Full healing can take a few weeks. After healing, be sure to brush and floss regularly and visit your dentist according to his recommended schedule.
If you’re interested in dental implants, contact our office to discuss your options with our caring team!