There are several stages needed for a single tooth to be implanted. Dental implants are a great way to replace a missing tooth, and many patients who choose them have a lot of questions afterward. After a tooth has been extracted or otherwise lost, patients have to wait a few months for the area to heal. Then, if you are a good candidate for a dental implant, the lower portion of the implant can be implanted into the jaw. After this surgery, there are a few things to remember to keep your gums healthy.
What Should I Eat?
After you have had the base of your implant implanted, you need to eat mostly soft foods. If you can avoid the area all together, this may be helpful for keeping food away from the area where the base is healing in the jaw. The foods you choose shouldn’t be too cold or hot. Eating soft, warm foods like soup or gelatin can help the area to feel better. Making smoothies is another good way to eat on a soft diet.
Don’t eat any sharp or hard foods or ones that are hard to chew for the first few days after the operation. Be sure to get good nutrition to promote healing during this time. Meals like scrambled eggs, hamburgers, yogurt and meal-replacement shakes are all good for the days following the operation. Avoid using straws and carbonated drinks.
How Do I Care for the Surgical Site?
After your surgery, you will be given some gauze that you can use to help with bleeding. This is a natural process that doesn’t last long, and it generally stops during the day of the operation. You need to make sure that you keep your gums as clean as possible. If you are given a medicated rinse, use this according to the instructions you are given. You can also use a rinse you make from warm water and salt, and this can help with the healing process. Be sure to brush your teeth like you normally would, but avoid the area of the implant so that your gums won’t get irritated.
Can I Go Back to Work the Next Day?
If you can do some light work that doesn’t include important meetings, there are no restrictions on you after the surgery. However, it can be better to wait at least three days to go back because you may have swelling for a few days. If you can get your procedure done close to the weekend, you can have those days to heal before you go back. It’s recommended that you get rest for at least the two days following your surgery.
Will People Be Able to Tell That I Had the Surgery?
You can expect a little face swelling in the beginning, but people should not be able to tell specifically which type of dental surgery you had. It also depends on where the tooth is and whether you have a temporary crown for it. If the tooth is in the front, a temporary crown is usually used so that no one can see where the missing tooth was located. The crown looks just like a natural tooth, and it’s made from durable materials that you can use just like an ordinary tooth.
When the Permanent Crown Is Installed, How Will I Care for It?
After your gums have healed and the implant has fused with your jaw, you can get your permanent crown. This is a simple process that doesn’t take long and won’t be painful or cause swelling. The tooth itself will be very durable, and you can treat it like a natural tooth. You will brush it like a normal tooth and floss just like you normally would.
The crown itself is made to be as tough as your natural tooth, but it can chip or become stained just like a natural tooth. Try not to eat very hard foods. To keep the crown from becoming stained, don’t drink much tea, coffee and/or red wine. Avoid the use of any tobacco products.
How Long Will My Implant Last?
When the permanent crown is installed on the implant, you may wonder just how long it can stay there without needing to be replaced. For the vast majority of them, it never needs to be replaced. Implanted teeth and considered permanent and can last for more than 30 years as long as they are taken care of. You may have to modify your diet a small amount by avoiding hard seeds, chewing hard candies, etc. Anything hard enough to chip a tooth can chip an implant.
Once your implant is installed and the permanent crown placed, you can count on keeping that tooth for life. It’s a great way to have a tooth that looks and feels great and that can be used like any other tooth.
Call our office today to learn more about dental implants or to request an appointment!