There are many variables involved in placing a dental implant, like those available at Cary Family Dental. That makes it difficult to say, with any precision, how long the recovery time is.
Factors influencing recover time include:
- Is a tooth extraction necessary?
- Is a bone graft and/or sinus lift needed first?
- Will I receive anesthesia during the procedure?
If you need a non-viable tooth pulled, it may be possible to receive the implant on the same day. You must have enough strong, healthy jawbone in which to anchor the implant.
A key determination is whether an implant patient needs a bone graft.
As soon as a tooth is extracted, the bone begins to recede. If there isn’t enough healthy bone, it can be augmented with a graft.
A bone graft replaces and regenerates lost bone mass.
If the implant will be placed in the upper arch, you may need a sinus lift service. When bone matter diminishes in parts of the upper jaw, it may cause the floor of the sinus cavity to fall into the space created.
It doesn’t take much longer than filling a cavity. Most patients can return to work the next day.
The fusing process can take several months. You don’t want to rush this because successful implantation requires a sturdy foundation.
Recovery after implant placement
Just as with the bone graft procedure, the implant placement procedure can be completed in less than two hours. If you elect to have IV sedation, however, you will need to wait until the effects of the sedation have worn off.
You will probably experience the following post-procedure:
- Pain at the implant site
- Minimal bleeding
- Swelling and/or bruising of the gums and cheeks
These effects should subside after a few days. Ice packs used on the outside of the face can ease swelling. Call our office if these symptoms persist.
NOTE: It is not necessary for a tooth implant recipient to be unconscious for the dental procedure. A local painkiller is usually sufficient. However, men and women with dental anxiety may elect stronger sedation.
Your dentist may mount a temporary healing abutment to the post during the initial surgery. A healing abutment is sometimes referred to as a ‘healing cuff’ or ‘healing cap.’
Make sure you practice proper oral hygiene but be extra careful when cleaning around the surgical site.
It’s essential to follow all post-procedure instructions. And be sure to make the recommended follow-up visits.
Smoking can make it harder to heal from any type of oral surgery.
After a permanent tooth implant has had time to fuse with the bone, you will have an appointment to attach the abutment.
Attaching the abutment
This is a fairly easy service. Your dentist will make an incision in your gum tissue at the implant location to expose the post. Then the abutment is attached. Your dentist may place the prosthesis (artificial tooth crown, dental bridge, or denture/partial denture) at the same time. Or your dentist may wait until your gums have healed.
Tooth implants can give you a beautiful new smile. To keep it beautiful and avoid further issues (like decay or an infection):
- Practice proper oral hygiene—keep your teeth and gums clean and healthy
- Eat a nutritious diet
- Don’t chew on hard foods or other items
- If you grind your teeth, seek treatment.
- Have a twice-yearly dental exam and cleaning
At Cary Family Dental in Cary, we restore missing teeth with implant placements. The dental implant procedure studies have found a five-year success rate of 98%.