Dental implants are a common and effective treatment for missing teeth. They are highly durable and can last a lifetime with proper care. However, it is essential to know that dental implant surgery is a dental surgery that requires a significant recovery period.
Dental implant surgery is performed under local anaesthetic in a dentist’s chair, but the dental implant recovery time can vary. It is also essential to know the potential risks before surgery. Speak with your dentist about the risks and benefits of dental implants to learn if they are right for you.
Understanding the Dental Implant Procedure
Dental implant surgery is a major procedure, and it is important to be prepared for the recovery process. The dental implant procedure includes the following steps:
During this phase, your dentist examines your mouth and takes X-rays to determine if you have adequate jawbone density and healthy gums for dental implants. If you are a good candidate, your dentist creates a treatment plan.
Preparatory Treatments and Surgeries
In some cases, preparatory treatments or surgeries may be necessary before implant surgery can be performed. This is typically the case when there is insufficient bone in the jaw to support the implant.
In these cases, a bone graft or sinus lift may be necessary. These procedures can add between three to nine months to the overall treatment time, but they are necessary to ensure a successful outcome.
Dental Implant Surgery
Dental implant surgery is typically performed under local anaesthesia and usually takes one to two hours per implant. During the dental implant procedure, your dentist makes incisions in your gums to expose the bone. Then, they place the implant into the bone and close the incisions with stitches.
A dental implant procedure requires a sanitised environment to reduce the risk of infection and implant failure.
At No Gaps Dental, we strictly follow all infection control guidelines and use hand sanitiser regularly.
Our surfaces are cleaned thoroughly, and every instrument is sterilised in an autoclave between patients. We also use personal protective equipment (PPE) and hand sanitiser when necessary and provide our patients with hand sanitiser in waiting rooms and exam rooms.
A second dental implant surgery is necessary to attach an abutment to the implant (although you may have your abutment placed at the same time as the implant post in some cases). An abutment is a small connector piece used to secure the artificial tooth to the implant. This surgery is typically performed under local anaesthesia and usually takes one hour. It takes a couple more weeks of healing following this minor surgery.
Once the site has healed, you return to your dentist to have the artificial tooth placed. At No Gaps Dental, we offer traditional and CEREC crowns. For a traditional crown, your dentist takes impressions during your abutment appointment to create a mould to send to an off-site dental lab for fabrication. This typically takes two weeks.
For CEREC crowns, we use an intraoral camera to take 3D images of the implant site. The data is sent to a software program that generates a model of the crown. This digital blueprint is sent to an on-site milling machine where your new tooth is carved from a solid block of durable tooth-coloured zirconia. Within minutes your new tooth is ready to be connected to the abutment.
How Long is the Dental Implant Recovery Time?
Osseointegration is the process by which the implants fuse to the bone and is essential for ensuring that the implants are secure. Once osseointegration is complete, you can bite and chew normally without worrying about your implants coming loose.
The average dental implant recovery time is three to six months, but this can vary depending on your individual circumstances. For example, if you have a pre-existing condition such as diabetes or osteoporosis, this may lengthen the amount of time it takes to recover.
Smoking can also delay healing, and poor dental surgery aftercare may cause complications such as peri-implantitis infection or implant failure. However, most patients who follow their dentist’s instructions carefully should be able to enjoy their new smile within several weeks.
How to Support Your Body While Recovering From Dental Implant Surgery?
Here are a few things you can do to help your body recover from dental implant surgery:
Rest and Avoid Strenuous Activity
After your dental implant procedure, it is important to rest and avoid any strenuous activity. This helps your body heal properly and reduces the risk of complications. You may need to take a few days off work.
Eat a Nourishing Diet
Eating a healthy, balanced diet reduces dental implant recovery time. Make sure you eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, and protein-rich foods to help your body heal. You may also want to take vitamin C and iron supplements to support your recovery.
Immediately following surgery, eat a non-chew or soft food diet to prevent irritating the surgical site.
It is also essential to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids. This helps your body recover more quickly and reduces the risk of complications such as infection.
Use an Ice Pack
An ice pack helps reduce swelling and pain after your dental implant procedure. Place the ice pack on the outside of your mouth for 20 minutes at a time, and do this several times a day for the first few days after your surgery.
Rinse With a Salt Water Solution
Rinsing your mouth with salt water can also help reduce swelling and pain by eliminating food debris and bacteria from the implant site. To make a saltwater rinse, stir a teaspoon of salt into a cup of warm water and swish it around your mouth for a few minutes. Do this several times a day for the first few days after your surgery.
Maintain Good Oral Hygiene
It is also important to maintain good oral hygiene during your recovery. Brush your teeth gently with a soft-bristled toothbrush and avoid flossing near the implant site. You should also rinse your mouth with fresh water after each meal.
Create a Healthy Smile With No Gaps Dental
At No Gaps Dental, we help patients achieve a healthy, beautiful smile. We use cutting-edge technology to create realistic dental implants to restore your appearance and oral health. We also want our patients to be as comfortable as possible, so we offer inhalation sedation dentistry for those who experience anxiety during a dental implant procedure.
Contact No Gaps Dental on (02) 8007 6727 today if you’re ready to fill the missing gap in your smile.
Note: Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.
Osseointegration: An Update
Patients’ Perception of Recovery after Dental Implant Placement