If you’re thinking about getting a dental implant to replace a missing tooth, you may be wondering what to expect. Dental implants require surgery, which is always a little bit scary. They also require a fairly long healing period, which may also be scary if you don’t understand why it’s necessary. That’s why we wanted to take a moment to explain the ins and outs of a dental implant placement. Once you understand each step of the process, you’ll see that there’s really nothing to be frightened of—only a beautiful new smile to look forward to!
Do you need a tooth implant to replace a lost tooth? Dr. Christopher Tye provides Hurst dental implants to complete your smile! Call our Colleyville oral surgery office today at (817) 522-3223 to set up an appointment.
Before Your Procedure
Before your implant surgery, Dr. Tye will need to review your medical and dental history, to make sure your mouth and body will respond well to an implant. If you have any outstanding dental issues, like a cavity that needs a filling, it’s important to do this before you can be considered for an implant. Your oral health needs to be at its best to receive a dental implant and heal from the procedure. If you have any chronic or systemic medical conditions that affect your body’s ability to heal, make sure to discuss these with Dr. Tye. They may affect how quickly your body integrates the implant into your jawbone.
During your procedure, you will be given anesthesia so you won’t feel any pain or remember the procedure. Essentially, you’ll be knocked-out. If you had your wisdom teeth extracted, the patient side of the process is fairly similar. Dr. Tye will give you detailed instructions before the day of the procedure and your vitals will be monitored carefully during the surgery.
While you are out, Dr. Tye will make an incision in the gums and then use a drill to create the cavity in your jaw to hold the implant. The implant is then placed in the jaw using a screw, which allows it to take the place of your missing tooth root. After the implant is in its proper place, the gums will be sutured using stitches.
All that drilling and screwing may sound painful and gruesome, but the truth is that there are not many pain-sensing nerves in that part of the jaw. In most cases, you won’t experience anything worse than typical post-operative pain. You will notice the stitches, and you will experience swelling, but Dr. Tye will give you a set of very detailed post-op instructions for dealing with the pain.
After the Surgery
After your surgery, you will likely need a couple of days to rest before you return to your normal routine. During that time, try to sleep as much as possible, so your body can focus on healing. You should only eat soft foods for about 10-14 days, to give the incision site a chance to heal undisturbed.
Your gum tissue should heal from the surgery within a few weeks, but the implant will stay “buried” underneath for a couple of months. Why can’t you have the crown placed on the implant right away? Your body needs time to integrate the implant with your jaw bone. Over a period of 3-6 months, your body will grow new bone tissue that will fill in the ridges of the implant. This is called the osseointegration period, and it’s necessary to make sure the implant is as stable as a natural tooth root. Once this period is complete, your implant will be a permanent part of your body, and should never need to be replaced, as long as you take good care of it.
During osseointegration, you should eat a healthy diet, get plenty of rest, and try not to over-stress yourself. You want to give your body all the tools it needs to build new bone tissue in the jaw, and you need to be in good health for this to happen.
Once Dr. Tye has determined that the osseointegration period is over, you will need an abutment placement procedure. This re-opens the incision site to make root in the gum for your implant to attach to the crown. Over the next couple of weeks your gums will heal around the abutment. The soft tissues of the mouth tend to heal pretty quickly, but—again, eat well, rest as much as possible, and eat only soft foods. After a couple of weeks, you will be ready to have your crown made so you can finally get your new tooth!
Call Our Office for Hurst Dental Implants
Dr. Tye is a dual-degreed dentist and oral surgeon, who is licensed to provide anesthesia and sedation. This makes him uniquely qualified to understand all the details pertinent to placing dental implants comfortably and effectively. If you’ve been thinking about getting a tooth implant to replace your lost tooth, give us a call and we’ll answer all your questions!