Dental Implant Surgery and Recovery Explained

by Anne B. Robinson
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Dental implant surgery is a common, yet still relatively complex, procedure. With that in mind, it’s important to understand not just what the surgery entails but also what you can expect during the recovery process.

What Is Dental Implant Surgery?

Dental implant surgery is a type of oral surgery that replaces one or more missing teeth. The surgery involves placing small titanium screws into the jawbone to serve as artificial roots. Once the screws have bonded with the bone (a process that can take several months), they are topped with artificial teeth, either individual crowns or a bridge.

Dental implants are considered the gold standard for tooth replacement because they look and feel like natural teeth and are much more durable and long-lasting than other options, such as dentures. In fact, with proper care, dental implants even can last a lifetime.

Dental Implant Surgery Process With Bone Grafting

The surgery is typically done in two stages: first, the implant, which is a metal post that serves as the new tooth’s root, is surgically placed in the jawbone; then, once the implant has had time to heal and fuse with the bone, a dentist attaches a replacement tooth to the implant.

In some certain cases, a bone graft may be necessary before dental implant surgery. Bone grafting is a procedure in which new bone is transplanted to the jawbone to provide support for dental implants. Dental implant surgery can help restore your smile’s function and appearance.

Dental Implant Pre and Post-Surgery Recovery Process

The implant is topped with a dental crown, which is made to match the color and shape of your natural teeth. The entire process can take several months, but it is worth it for the long-term results. Here are the steps involved in the pre and post-surgery recovery process:

  1. After your initial consultation with your dentist, you will need to have a few preparatory appointments. This may include getting X-rays and impressions made of your teeth.
  2. Once everything is ready, you will undergo surgery to have the implant placed in your jawbone. The surgery usually takes about an hour, and you will be given local anesthesia to numb the area.
  3. After surgery, you will need to rest for a few days before resuming your normal activities. You may experience swelling and bruises around the surgical site, but this should subside within a week or two.
  4. Once the implant has healed,  the dentist will place the crown on top. The crown itself usually takes about two weeks to make.
  5. After the crown, you can expect your new tooth to function like your natural teeth. Always practice good oral hygiene habits, such as brushing and flossing regularly, to keep your implant healthy and strong.

What Is the Recovery Process Like?

The recovery process following dental implant surgery is fairly straightforward, though it will vary somewhat depending on how many implants were placed and the patient’s overall health. Always remember that healing takes time; patience is essential, and do not push yourself too hard too soon.

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