Tooth restoration includes a number of different services that can enhance your smile, with one of these being dental implants. Dental implants can restore poor oral health by providing patients with artificial teeth. At their essence, dental implants are used to act as replacements for the root of your teeth. Many patients suffer from dental diseases and decay that can result in the teeth and structure of the mouth decaying. Dental implants are considered a more reliable option than dental bridges or dentures.
Dental implants are typically composed of three parts: the implant body, the abutment, and a crown. The dental implant body closely resembles a screw and is surgically inserted into the jaw, acting as a new tooth root. The abutment is an attachment of the implant body that supports the crown, functioning as an entirely new tooth. Many people who have had dental implant surgery have stated that they can hardly tell the difference between their dental implants and natural teeth, as well as having an improved ability to eat and speak normally.
Dental Implant Surgery: What to Expect
Dental implants act as entirely new teeth and need to be surgically implanted into the jawbone in order to function properly. That being said, in order to have dental implant surgery performed, you need to have a healthy jawbone and set of gums. Inserting dental implants into a deteriorating or decaying jawbone would result in more oral health complications. You may also need a CAT scan prior to this surgery or a consultation to discuss bone grafting if your jaw is too thin or small.
After your dentist has determined how they will perform the surgery, they will begin by placing your dental implant body, which acts as a tooth root, into the healthy jawbone. After adequate healing from the surgery, a fabricated abutment will then be inserted into the dental implant body to secure the new crown in place over the entire implant. Some patients, however, may require different implants.
Different Types of Dental Implants
There are two main types of dental implants: endosteal implants and subperiosteal implants. In some cases, neither of these dental implant options will be the right fit for your oral health needs and you may have to look into dental bridges or dentures. The best option for you regarding dental implant surgery should be discussed with your dentist. Regardless, knowing the different types of dental implants can help keep you informed about the possible options available to you.
Endosteal Dental Implants
Endosteal dental implants are most commonly used in dental implant surgery. To be a good candidate for these implants, you will need to have a healthy jawbone and gums, as your implant’s stability depends on the health of these two components. These implants are placed through the gums and are screwed into the jawbone to ensure maximum stability. The implant body of endosteal dental implants highly resemble screws and are typically made of titanium.
Subperiosteal Dental Implants
Subperiosteal implants are slightly less invasive than endosteal implants, as these are placed over the jaw instead of being inserted into the jawbone. First, a small incision is made in the gums before a metal frame containing your new teeth is placed over the jaw. Once this placement is set, your dentist will stitch your gums back together. These dental implants require less amount of time to heal, however, they are much less reliable as a long term solution.
Recovering from Dental Implant Surgery
At this point, you may be wondering what to expect after dental implant surgery. With this specific dental surgery, it’s likely you will experience some swelling, discomfort, and possible bruising on your face. These are completely normal things to experience after any surgery, however, if these become extremely uncomfortable or unbearable, consult your dentist.
Shortly after your dental implant surgery, your implant will begin to fuse with the surrounding areas of the gums and jawbone to become a functioning part of your mouth. Although the area of your mouth may be uncomfortable after your surgery, you should avoid touching the area where dental implants have been installed and resist fiddling with your stitches. It’s also recommended that patients recovering from this surgery avoid any hot liquids or drinking from a straw for at least the first 24 hours into recovery.
Here are other tips to keep in mind when recovering after dental implant surgery:
- Knowing what to eat after surgery is crucial. Eat soft foods to begin your recovery, adding in solid foods during a time period recommended by your dentist.
- Avoid any strenuous activities relating to the area of your mouth for which you just had surgery (i.e. chewing gum or hard candy).
- If needed and recommended by your dentist, put an ice pack on areas of your mouth or face that may be swelling.
- Get plenty of rest and consume a fair amount of liquids.
Depending on your medications prescribed post-surgery, and your pain level, you may be able to start normal daily activities about three days after dental implant surgery. Recovery periods can vary from person to person, however dental implant surgery recovery periods typically last two weeks to start to fully heal. Remember to be patient with your recovery period post-surgery, as resuming normal eating or engaging in strenuous activities can cause the healing process to take even longer.
Safe Oral Surgery with Kneib Dentistry
At Kneib Dentistry, we understand our patient’s concerns when it comes to dental implant surgery and recovery periods. We provide comfortable patient care and ensure your peace of mind in every dental procedure we perform. There’s no need to be fearful of oral surgery when you’re in our office – rest assured that you’re in good hands. If you have questions about appointments or want to know more about dental implant surgery, contact our office today.