Did you know that around 120 million people in the United States are missing one or more teeth? Tooth loss is a serious problem for a variety of reasons. For one, it can impede a person’s ability to speak or chew food. More than that, it can also ruin a person’s self-esteem due to the way a missing tooth can change a person’s smile.
Fortunately, dental implants can help. If you’re thinking about getting a dental implant, you might be wondering about the process of recovery from dental implant options. After all, getting a dental implant can be quite an invasive procedure, so what should you expect when getting the implant and the recovery process afterward?
Keep reading and learn more about the process below.
Understanding the Dental Implant Process
The process of getting a dental implant is quite lengthy, and it involves several different stages of healing time. The first part of the procedure is the most invasive. It involves drilling a metal post into your jawbone.
This metal post is usually made out of titanium since it is a relatively safe metal to introduce to the body and it is also very strong. Drilling the post into the bone is necessary because the jawbone will act as an anchor for the entire implant. Once the metal post is drilled into the jawbone, you will need to wait for the bone to heal.
Specifically, the bone will grow around the metal implant and anchor the post in place. This will ensure that the implant will not wiggle around in your mouth or fall out. This healing process will take some time, usually around a week or more.
Some people who need dental implant surgery may need to go through a bone graft first. This, however, is only necessary for those who have weak or thin jawbones that are not strong enough to support a dental implant. This, of course, will involve an extra procedure and will also require some extra healing time.
The next part of the procedure is to get the abutment. The abutment is a small piece that comes between the metal post and the dental crown (the part of the implant that looks like a real tooth). The abutment functions as a cushion between these two parts of the implant, so they don’t damage each other or wear each other down.
The final part of the implant is the dental crown. Once the dental crown is installed on top of the abutment, the result should look very realistic. Dental crowns are usually made of porcelain or ceramic, and they are not only very durable but also very realistic.
Many people won’t even be able to tell that you have a dental implant instead of a real tooth. A dental implant like this will not only be able to restore your dental function but will also improve the appearance of your smile.
But what about the recovery process, and how long will it take?
Recovery From Dental Implant
After each stage of the procedure, you will likely experience a variety of side effects associated with the recovery process. If you need to get a bone graft first, this will take quite a while to heal, likely several weeks, until the jawbone is completely solidified and stable enough to receive a dental implant. During that time, the area that received the bone graft will be very swollen and tender.
This swelling should go down after a few days. This swelling will also be similar to the swelling you will experience when you first get the metal post drilled into your jawbone. Swelling is a very normal side effect after this kind of procedure and it is simply a response to the interference of the area.
However, if the swelling is unusually painful or lasts longer than it should, then you should talk to your dentist as you may have an infection. Infections are not common as long as the procedure is done properly, but they can still happen on occasion. It is important to treat an infection as quickly as possible, or it could spread to the rest of your mouth and cause serious damage.
What You Need to Know
As long as the healing process goes as it should, your mouth should start feeling much better after a few days. During this time, you should keep your mouth as clean as possible to avoid the possibility of infection. To do this, you should continue brushing your teeth as usual and rinse your mouth with salt water at least once a day.
You may experience some other side effects during this time, such as bruising around the treated area or minor bleeding. Again, all of these side effects should go away on their own after a few days.
When you get the abutment and dental crown, the recovery process should be relatively simple. This is because this part of the procedure is not very invasive. You may experience minor swelling and bleeding in the area, but other than that, your mouth should be in good shape.
All About Recovering From Dental Implants
The process of recovery from dental implants can be quite involved, but in most cases, it should go quite smoothly. After a week or so, you should already notice a big improvement in the state of your dental health. As long as you keep your mouth clean and the procedure is done correctly, you shouldn’t have to worry about the risk of infection either.
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