When a person is missing a tooth or a few teeth, they typically get dental bridges or dentures. While these are effective, our Orlando dental practice sometimes recommends supporting these appliances with dental implants, which are artificial tooth roots that can anchor various kinds of restorations in place with unmatched strength. Functioning like natural tooth roots, dental implants are an excellent option for people who are missing teeth, and they help prevent bone loss and gum recession.
We'd like to focus on the oral surgery performed as part of the implant dentistry process. We'll then note a few of the most common side effects patients experience while healing, offering some tips on how to manage these temporary issues.
About Dental Implant Surgery
During dental implant surgery, an incision is made along the gum tissue to expose the bone structure of the dental arch. An implant post is carefully embedded into the jawbone where it will eventually fuse with the hard tissue, a process known as osseointegration. The gum tissue is then positioned around the post and sutured to heal.
Following the dental implant surgery, patients will want to adjust their diet for a few days to help with recovery and to avoid discomfort. The side effects we will cover below tend to be most pronounced during the early days of recovery, becoming less of an issue as the patient makes a full recovery.
Pain and Discomfort
Soreness and pain are a common side effect after undergoing any sort of surgical procedure. To manage these side effects, patients can take prescription pain killers as directed. As the pain becomes less of an issue, patients can then take over-the-counter pain medication. Avoiding hot and cold temperature foods and beverages early on can help reduce sensitivity and sensations of discomfort.
Bruising Around the Operated Areas
In those early days of recovery, patients may notice bruising around the portion of the gum tissue that has been operated on. This is common and will last for several days. Patients should notice the bruising become less of an issue as recovery continues, with the discoloration becoming less noticeable as they get further into the healing process.
Swelling of the Face and Gumline
Some swelling along the dental arch and part of the face is common after undergoing oral surgery. Thankfully the swelling isn't too pronounced and abates after a few days. To help manage swelling, patients can use a cold compress held against the face. Do not press the cold compress directly on the operated part of the gumline as this can lead to severe discomfort, especially in the early days of recovery.
Minor Post-Operative Bleeding
Minor bleeding from the incision sites and operated areas is to be expected after you have undergone oral surgery. This should become less of an issue as the days go by. Be sure to follow all instructions for post-op care to keep incision sites sanitary and free from infection.
How Long Does Healing Take?
It will usually take around a week to two weeks for the side effects noted above to fade. This can vary from patient to patient, so keep that in mind.
As for the overall dental implant treatment process, this can take several months. The process of osseointegration takes time can cannot be rushed. Only when osseointegration has been completed can the dental implant properly support a crown, bridge, or denture.
Learn More About Dental Implants
For more information about dental implants and how they can help you smile with improved health and renewed confidence, we encourage you to contact an experienced cosmetic and restorative dentist. Dr. Alfredo M. Gapuz, Jr. and his team are here to help you experience the wonders of enhanced dental health.