When you choose to replace missing teeth with dental implants in Arlington, you’ve chosen a solution that will transform your smile and improve dental function. Dental implants closely mimic the structure of natural teeth. An implant is a screw-like post made of the biocompatible metal titanium that is secured within the tooth socket of your jawbone. As the bone heals around the post, a strong bond is formed. Once you’ve completely healed, different types of restorations can be attached to the implant to restore a complete smile.
That’s the short story on dental implants. Now, here is what you can expect from the surgery and the recovery when you see an implant dentist in Arlington.
The Dental Implant Surgery
Dental implant surgery may take no longer than 30 minutes and is usually no more difficult that having a cavity filled. Once the dentist has administered a local anesthetic, a special drill is used that removes a very small section of bone to make room for the implant. In some cases, sutures may be needed to close gum tissue over the implant. However, the incision is often so small that stitches are not necessary.
If your dentist prescribes an antibiotic to ward off infection, be sure to finish all of the medicine. Any discomfort can usually be managed with acetaminophen or ibuprofen.
Healing from Dental Implant Surgery
The time needed for healing depends on the number of implants placed, whether or not bone graft surgery was also necessary and your personal healing time. A secure bond between the implant and surrounding bone usually requires at least six weeks and up to six months.
During recovery, it is normal to have sore gums and jaw for the first few days. This should dissipate over the following weeks.
You can help the healing process by not eating crunchy or hard foods that could irritate your gums. Be sure to stick to your regular oral hygiene routine. Brush and floss as usual, but don’t disturb the surgical site, especially if you have stitches.
Gargling with warm saltwater can also help your recovery. The water is soothing to your gums and the salt content has antiseptic properties.
Once your dentist is certain that the implants are secure, then you will come in to have the appropriate restoration attached: a dental crown for one missing tooth, a bridge for several and an implant-retained denture for an entire row of teeth.
Meet the Doctor
Now, schedule a consultation to discuss how your missing teeth can be replaced with dental implants, implant retained dentures or teeth-in-a-day. Dr. Douglas Baldwin is a family and implant dentist in Arlington, Texas. He and his team provide a complete menu of dental services to patients of all ages. Call Foundation Dental today to schedule an appointment.