Dental Implants can be simply understood as artificial or replacement teeth. They are the next to natural teeth one can have through the dental procedure. It is a very beneficial teeth restorative procedure available for those who have lost their teeth. This procedure helps to restore teeth in people both structurally and functionally. Providing support to the teeth and promoting the strength of the bone structure is done by implants.
Dental implants procedures are conducted in most dental clinics. Replacing teeth which are lost one or more is done through this procedure. This treatment is decided after doing a comprehensive dental consultation is completed. Understanding the oral health of the person, if the gums have enough strength to support the implants, is it beneficial to undergo the treatment, do more teeth need to be removed before replacement etc. are all considered before the treatment proceeds.
The surgery is conducted under anaesthesia. This will numb the area where the implant needs to be placed. After numbness sets in and the place is ready to receive the implant, the jaw bone is cut and the implant is placed in it. The gums are then closed over the implant. This procedure is usually done in two phases. After the implant is done, it is left for a few weeks’ time. This is for the gums to heal for the next process.
The second phase involves placing another component on the implant. It is on this extension that dental crowns are placed. Dentists will take an impression of the teeth and make crowns. Some dentists will make a working model of the crown. After this is checked and tried for a proper fit then dentists will develop a proper dental crown.
After the dental implant surgery
As elaborated earlier dental implant surgery takes place in two steps. This allows the time to heal after the implant is put in place.
Pain after surgery is experienced by some people. Pain is nullified by the use of anaesthesia during the surgery. After the procedure, dentists provide pain killers which help in reducing pain and healing. Over the counter pain killers will also help in reducing the pain after surgery. It is best to check with the dentist on the type of pain killers one can use as some pain killers would induce bleeding. This can affect the wound adversely.
Together with pain, swelling in the area of surgery and discomfort in the cheeks both internal and external can be noticed. The swelling will be seen in the part where surgery has been done. This is normal as the gums have been drilled to place the implants in them. As surgery has been done cheeks will show bruising. This swelling and uneasiness in the cheeks will subside after a few days after surgery.
It is important that the diet one consumes after surgery is given attention to. It is important that soft and liquid food is consumed after surgery. Consuming food and drinks that are hot and spicy need to be avoided as this can irritate the gums where the implant has been placed. Food that is hard and chewy like nuts or candy should also be avoided. These can stick on to the area of surgery and can cause infection. Food that is soft and easy to consume like warm soups, yogurt can be consumed after surgery.
Brushing or flossing in the area of surgery needs to be avoided immediately. After consulting with the dentists, one can follow proper oral cleaning. As cleaning is not thorough, there are chances of food particles being stuck to the teeth adjacent to the area where surgery has taken place. When it is not cleaned properly, bacteria can act on this food and cause infection.
Gargling with warm salt water will help in keeping the mouth clean and will also help in bringing down swelling in the area. Applying a cold compress on the cheeks will also bring relief from discomfort and pain.
Consuming alcohol after surgery should be avoided. Studies show that alcohol interferes with the natural healing process. It can also increase pain in the area of surgery. Even after you have recovered from surgery, it is essential to reduce excessive intake of alcohol as this will affect the durability of dental implants.
Smoking or chewing tobacco also is a big no-no when it comes to dental implant surgery. Tobacco has known to cause the failure of implants. Using tobacco causes dry mouth, this in turn will cause decreased saliva production and reduce the ability to fight infection. When smoking and tobacco chewing is continued without any check, infection in the vulnerable area of dental implant is easy to happen.
Drinking lots of water and not straining oneself is important in the few days after surgery. This will help to hasten the healing process and reduce pain. Coping well after surgery is important as this will reflect on how well your mouth accepts dental implants. Taking ample rest and not tiring oneself out and following the dietary and other precautions go a long way in helping one cope after dental surgery.
Some dental implants are done after teeth extraction. During this time, oral cleanliness and health need to be taken care of. This can affect how well the mouth receives the implants later. Following instructions and guidance from the dentists is always vital.
Besides all this one of the most important after care measures that one needs to keep in mind is going for follow up consultations. It is important that appointment with the dentists are kept- this will help to monitor the progress that is made towards healing. Checking how the implant has been placed and the alignment of the dental crowns can be checked during consultations. It is important that during the consultations, any doubts and concerns that arise be discussed with the dentist.