An implant is a small titanium fixture which serves as an artificial tooth root. Made from medical grade titanium, and combined with a custom created dental prosthetic, a dental implant provides a secure and natural looking long-term replacement for the entire missing tooth.
How long does a dental implant procedure take?
Dental implant surgery is usually an outpatient surgery performed in stages:
- Your damaged tooth is removed.
- Your jawbone is prepared for surgery, a process which may involve bone grafting.
- After your jawbone heals, your oral surgeon places the dental implant metal post in your jawbone.
- You go through a healing period which may last several months.
- Your oral surgeon places the abutment, which is an extension of the implant metal post. (In some cases, when the implant is very stable, this can be done at the same time that the implant is placed.)
- After the soft tissue heals, your dentist will make moulds of your teeth and jawbone and later place the final tooth or teeth.
The entire process can take many months from start to finish. Much of that time is devoted to healing and waiting for the growth of new bone in your jaw.
Is dental implant surgery painful?
You shouldn’t feel any pain during the dental implant surgery, especially if it is done with healthy tissue. Also, the bone where the implant is placed does not have many pain-sensing nerves. Usually, a local anaesthetic is used, which means you are awake during the surgery. But if you’re very nervous about the surgery, you have sedative options to help you to feel more comfortable and at ease during the operation.
What to eat after dental implant surgery?
Following surgery, maintain a soft diet and increase your fluid intake; don’t drink with a straw through – the suction from this can dislodge the blood clot which forms to begin the healing process. Avoid carbonated drinks and very hot foods or drinks. A nutritious diet throughout the healing period is important for your comfort and healing. It may be difficult to chew and open your mouth due to the tightness of the jaw muscles. This should disappear within 7 days. Keep lips moist with cream to prevent cracking. Bruising may also occur but should disappear soon.