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The Dental Implant Healing Stages, in Detail

dental implant healing stages

Did you know that a majority of adults in the United States have at least one missing tooth? In modern dentistry, one of the most realistic tooth replacement options is dental implants. Before you start to think about if you want to get implant surgery, keep reading for everything you need to know about dental implant healing stages. 

What Are Implants? 

Dental implants consist of three parts: implant rod, abutment, and restoration crown. They function and look like a real tooth so that you can have confidence in eating hard foods and in your smile. Every patient should know what to expect when dealing with surgery and the healing process. 

Beginning Stages

Before you get your implant placement, you will have a consultation with the dentist to assess your mouth and jawbone health to determine if you are a viable candidate. Some patients may not be able to receive this surgery. 

If you have insufficient jawbone health or density, the dentist could prescribe a bone graft or sinus lift. It can take as long as up to nine months to recover from a bone graft, though most cases take usually as little as 2 weeks. 

Other cases like a severely damaged tooth that needs removal may require a wait of up to ten weeks in order for the site to heal prior to receiving the implant. Each patient is different and will require talking to your dentist to determine the correct plan for you. 

Implant Surgery

The patient will receive a local anesthetic to numb the mouth so there is no feeling. A small incision in the gum tissue will expose the underlying jawbone. Next, they will drill a small hole in the bone and screw in the titanium post. The finishing step is suturing and packing the gun with gauze. 

Implant Post Healing

After the initial surgery, the site needs to heal, and this can take up to two weeks. This can be sped up by following the aftercare instructions like resting with your head elevated, modifying your diet, and using saltwater to rinse out your mouth. 

In order to move on to the next step, osseointegration needs to occur. This is when the implant post-fuses to your jawbone and creates a stable foundation for abutment and restoration. 

Depending on your immune system and the number of implants you get this can take anywhere from 8 weeks to 9 months to heal. This is why it is crucial to maintain a great oral health routine to help keep your mouth clean and reduce the chance of implant rejection or infections. Try to brush and floss twice daily, while avoiding brushing over the surgical site so you prevent bleeding and unnecessary irritation. 

Abutment 

Once the implant is fused the second minor surgery will take place, and connect the abutment to the implant post. The dentist will close the gun tissue around the implant. 

The healing for this can be up to a month but usually only lasts for about 2 weeks. Expect some mild pain and swelling, but you can take any over-the-counter medicine to reduce pain and inflammation. Ice packs are a great idea to apply to the side of your face if you are experiencing discomfort. 

Restoration placement 

When fully healed around the abutment, you can receive the final restoration. You will need to visit the dentist to get impressions of your teeth near the site so that the replacement implant is a perfect match for your natural teeth. You will leave with a gorgeous smile once the prosthesis is on the abutment and connected to the dental implant rod. 

What To Expect After

Integration of the jawbone and complete healing can take up to 6 months. This surgery is performed often and comes with a 95% success rate, but there are times when an implant can fail or reject. Here are some of the things to look out for to prevent anything from going wrong: 

  • Intense pain
  • Soreness that does not go away
  • Swelling
  • Inflammation of gum tissue
  • Implant exposure

Tips For Recovery

To make your recovery as fast as possible, here are some general tips to follow. These should help with the immediate stages of your healing treatment. 

  • Sleep often and get enough rest
  • Eat only soft foods that are also nutritious 
  • For swelling during the first days, use an ice pack wrapped in cloth 
  • Rinse your mouth with warm salt water up to 4 times a day 
  • Clean the site of surgery and practice oral hygiene daily

Benefits of Dental Surgery

There is a lot to go over when talking about this surgical procedure because your professional should want to ensure the best results possible. Patients want to see the benefits and importance of the procedure which can look like the following: 

  • Denture stability improves
  • Bone and gum tissue properly supports the face
  • Appearance improves
  • Comfort in chewing 

Dental Implant Healing Stages: Prepare Yourself Today

Even though the process of dental implant healing stages seems incredibly long, the benefits you will receive are immense. You will be able to regain the ability to eat the foods you want and support your overall health. Everyone deserves to have healthy teeth, with nothing missing or damaged. 

In addition to dental implant surgery, Forest Park Dental offers services for those who are looking for emergency care, Invisalign, work on crowns or root canals, and whitening. Contact us if you’d like to schedule a consultation or talk about your options. 

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