You may have read a lot about dental implants and the procedure itself but perhaps want to know more about what to expect after a dental implant. So what’s it like to live with a fully restored smile? Let’s find out.
The first thing you should know about life after dental implant surgery is that recovery is usually pretty quick. Here at DDSS/DDII, we use the latest computer-guided techniques to place dental implants. As a result, our skilled team uses a process of placement known as the flapless surgery technique.
In conventional implant placement, the dentist makes an incision into the gum to expose the jaw bone underneath. The gum tissue is peeled back, and an implant-sized hole is drilled through the bone. The dentist then places the implant through the hole and into the jaw bone.
Finally, the gum tissue is covered back over the implant, sutured and left to heal.
With the flapless surgery technique, most of the work is carried out virtually during the planning stages. The dentist studies exacting 3D images of your mouth and jaw and, from these, will know precisely how deep and at what trajectory to place your implant.
When the dentist is sure that everything looks good, he will print a surgical guide. The dentist uses the guide to drill a pilot hole through the gum tissue and directly into the jawbone.
The advantage of flapless surgery is that there is no need to cut the gum. Because the dentist doesn’t need to cut the gum, the actual time a patient spends in dental implant surgery is significantly lessened.
In addition, the digital dental implants process negates the need for stitches, resulting in a more comfortable experience, little or no bleeding or swelling and a speedier recovery time.
The beauty of dental implants is that they are the only form of missing tooth replacement to be self-supporting. A vital part of the dental implant procedure is a process known as osseointegration (bone fusion).
After the dentist has placed a dental implant, time is needed for the bone tissue to fuse with the implant itself. When fusion happens, the process creates a rock-solid platform upon which your implant dentist can fit a dental crown, a dental bridge or an implant-supported denture.
Ultimately, rather than something resembling a separate commodity in the mouth, dental implants become part of your mouth – one that has near-complete bite capacity.
Just in case you are under any illusion of how strong dental implants are, regular teeth provide an average bite force of around 180 lbs per square inch. Once fully stabilised in the mouth, dental implants replicate approximately 90% of that.
Conversely, traditional dentures have a bite force of somewhere between 30% -40%.
So what to expect after a dental implant procedure?
After dental implant surgery, patients can expect to eat whatever they choose without restriction. It’s just like having a new set of new natural teeth in every way.
Hassle-free care and maintenance
While the consultations, examinations, and dental implant surgery may feel like a journey, dental implants need little to no ongoing care.
Sure, they need to be kept clean and free from bacteria, but care and maintenance should be part of your daily cleaning regimen anyway. Brush and floss them as you would your natural teeth.
Alternatively, dentures need to be removed nightly, soaked in a specialised cleaning solution and scrubbed using non-abrasive toothpaste. They also need to be handled with care because they are prone to chipping and cracking.
Ongoing maintenance with dentures can be a hassle – not to mention the costs involved for special denture brushes, cleaning agents and tubes of toothpaste.
Provided that your implant dentist places your implant or implants correctly, there is no reason why your restoration/s can’t last for several decades or more.
Inevitably longevity depends on how well you care for your implant-based restoration after dental implant surgery. Still, the fact remains that retrospective studies show that dental implants are long-lasting when looked after, far outweighing the shelf-life of a conventional dental bridge or denture.
While a dental implant procedure may appear costly at first, the potential longevity that dental implant surgery brings can negate the initial outlay and save you money in the long term.
Renewed quality of life
Perhaps the most significant factor when considering what to expect after a dental implant is a much-improved quality of life.
Imagine being able to crack a smile again without hiding it behind your hand. Imagine meeting a new acquaintance for the first time without wondering what they think of your teeth. Imagine a boost of confidence and self-esteem as you wear your renewed smile with pride. These are the benefits that a dental implant procedure can deliver.
What to expect after a dental implant – Key points
After a dental implant procedure, you should expect:
- A relatively speedy and comfortable recovery
- A fully restored bite
- Hassle-free care and maintenance
- Restoration longevity and
- A renewed quality of life
If you are considering undergoing a dental implant procedure, or you would like to talk to a dentist about tooth implants, come and talk to the team at DDSS/DDII.
Our highly experienced implant dentists can help you with the information you need to make a fully informed decision, including a breakdown of your custom treatment, timescales for completion and prices.
Don’t let missing teeth spoil your quality of life. Book a smile consultation at DDSS/DDII or call us on (02) 8294 5812 today!
Note: Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.