What You Should Know about Dental Implant Surgery Recovery
If you suffer from tooth loss, dental implants may be right for you. Dental implants offer permanent, natural looking tooth replacement to improve dental function and appearance. Though dental implant treatment offers superior results when compared other tooth replacement treatments, it does require surgery and recovery time. To learn more about what you should expect during dental implant recovery, read this overview from Melbourne cosmetic dentists Gerald W. Bird and Jay A. Johnson.
What to Expect During Dental Implant Surgery Recovery
The dental implant treatment process takes several months. The process may be lengthened if a bone graft is required. A bone graft may be required to rebuild the jawbone, especially when teeth have been missing for an extended period of time. If a bone graft is performed, a separate recovery will be required before the dental implant can be placed. Full recovery after a bone graft may take four to nine months, depending on personal healing time and the amount of bone in need of replacement. The bone must be fully healed before dental implant surgery can be performed.
Once the jawbone is determined to be sufficient for dental implant surgery, the implant procedure can be performed. Dental implant surgery is typically a threefold process. During the first stage, the dental implant is placed. It will take three to six months for the implant to fuse with the jawbone. Then, an abutment is placed to attach the desired dental restoration to the dental implant. After time is allowed for healing after the abutment placement, generally one to two weeks, the restoration can be attached to the dental implant, completing treatment.
The specifics of your recovery after dental implant surgery will depend on how many dental implants are placed, personal healing times, and how well you follow post-surgical instructions. With that said, most patients can expect a full recovery within three to six months.
Why is Dental Implant Recovery So Long?
In order for dental implant surgery to be successful, the jawbone must heal around and bond to the dental implant in a process called osseointegration. Bone growth is a slow process and it's essential to dental implant treatment. Dental implant recovery requires patience and time in order to ensure successful treatment and lifelong results.
Tips to Help with Recovery
It's important to follow all of your oral surgeon's instructions before and after your dental implant surgery, but you can help improve recovery with these tips:
- Continue to practice good oral hygiene habits to reduce the risk of infection
- Use a soft-bristled brush to gently clean around the implant site
- Gargle with warm salt water to alleviate pain and disinfect the mouth
- Avoid hard, crunchy foods that can irritate the gums and jaw
- Stick to soft foods to reduce jaw pain
- Quit smoking at least four weeks before surgery and throughout recovery to improve healing
See if Dental Implants Are Right for You
Dental implants can restore your smile. Find out if you're a candidate for dental implants. Schedule a consultation with Drs. Bird and Johnson today.