HEALTHY MOUTH TIPS
How Does Dental Implant Surgery Affect Me?
Many patients call into our office to learn more about dental implants. One of the questions that Dr. Kim is always asked is how the dental implant surgery will affect the patient.
Dental implant surgery recovery times will be different for each patient. There is no fixed or set amount of time that it will take someone to heal. The amount of time it takes will depend on the individual’s health, how many of their teeth are affected, and how their body heals.
Dr. Kim treats about 99 percent of all dental implant surgery cases with a local anesthetic. Sometimes, at the patient’s request or when surgery may be more in depth, a combination of oral sedation and intravenous sedation may be used but is not required for all patients.
Dental implant placement is generally routine in nature and those patients who do not need any grafting procedures or minimal grafting procedures will experience little post-operative swelling and discomfort. Patients will be able to continue their life as normal and will experience little to no inconvenience. Patients will need to modify their diet for a couple of days because the mouth may be sore. Dr. Kim recommends a soft diet that does not require any crunchy or chewy foods. It is important that patients take care when they brush the area as well.
Some side effects that can occur, which not all patients will experience. Most common side effects include mild discomfort and minor swelling in the mouth. You may also experience some occasional bruising. If any of these symptoms do occur, you can manage them through the use of medications that Dr. Kim prescribes to you. After about 7 to 10 days, you can return to eating a traditional diet without any issues. Some patients may need to remain on a soft food diet for up to 6 weeks, but this would be discussed in detail with you.
Dr. Kim says that if any patient needs to have any type of grafting procedures, then the swelling in the mouth may be more obvious and pronounced. However, Dr. Kim will provide you with effective after care instructions and medication to assist in keeping you as comfortable as possible.
Will Anything Negatively Impact the Way the Implants Heal?
When it comes to healing, patients heal time will depend on their tolerances and also their lifestyle choices. For example, a smoker will heal less quickly than someone who does not smoke. It is ideal to minimize your smoking when you are healing to prevent a slowdown in the process. Smoking after your implant surgery may lead to infection or cause the implants to take a long time to heal, especially if you have had to have a bone graft or sinus lift performed.
The healing process from dental implants can be impaired or delayed for a number of reasons including:
- Excessive alcohol use
- Lack of dental care
- Poor diet
Dr. Kim wants to remind you that it is vital to take care of your dental health and oral hygiene. If you care for your mouth and dental implants, you will recover quickly. Plaque and tartar buildup can lead to infection around the gums and this can lead to disease and failure of the implants. Dr. Kim will advise you on what to look out for as you heal.
How Long Until the Dental Implants Take?
Once the healing process has started, the dental implants will begin to integrate into and with the bone in the jaw. In some cases, the implants can be fixed with a crown or bridge immediately, but this often is done 12-16 weeks later once the bones and gums are fully healed. This really depends on the individual patient and the quality of the bond and heal time.
Regular checkups will need to be performed with Dr. Kim to check on the progress of the bond. Dental implants should not be rushed, and you should always allow for proper healing. It is always advised that you consult in person with Dr. Kim to understand better about the predictability of dental implant placement.
If you would like to learn more about dental implants, contact Dr. Steve S. Kim, DDS to discuss your options and to schedule an appointment.