Surgery for dental implants in River Oaks is almost always free of unforeseen complications. Like any type of operation, however, most patients can expect minor post-surgical swelling, bruising or discomfort. These can usually be managed with a combination of rest and over-the-counter medications.
What to Expect from Implant Surgery
Dental implants offer significant advantages over other forms of treatment. This is because the implant actually fuses with the recipient’s underlying bones, providing superior support and long-term results. Unlike traditional dentures, properly placed implants cannot become loose. Unlike crowns or bridges, they require no adhesives.
At the same time, the benefits associated with implants do require a somewhat lengthier treatment process than with other options. During the initial procedure the implant itself is placed. Implants are crafted from medical-grade titanium, an exceptionally strong and lightweight metal. After placement, the patient can expect a few months of recovery time during which the surrounding bone tissue heals and joins itself to the implant.
The implant itself remains below the gum line. Connecting it to the restoration is the job of a small metal post called an abutment. In most cases the abutment is added after recovery from the initial procedure is complete. Placing the abutment usually requires only local anesthetic and a recuperative period of one to two weeks.
The third step is to add the final restoration. This can take one of two forms:
- A specially designed denture plate that the patient can remove as needed for cleaning. Because it’s supported by implants, this restoration will never accidentally loosen or come out of the patient’s mouth.
- A nonremovable artificial tooth or multi teeth bridge. This second option is sometimes referred to as an “all on four” or “all on six” restoration.
Some Post-Surgical Warning Signs to Watch Out for
Contact your dentist in River Oaks or another healthcare professional right away if you notice any of these problems:
- Continued discomfort, especially if it’s difficult to manage using over-the-counter products. In some cases, your dentist may prescribe an analgesic formula.
- Bleeding from the surgical site.
- Excessive swelling or discharge from the area around the implant.
- A feeling that your implant is coming loose.
- An unexplained fever.
- Anything that seems odd or troubling about the post-surgical process, especially if it’s something your dentist did not tell you to expect during your recovery.
How Long Do Implants Last?
Properly placed implants can last from 10 years up to a lifetime. The patient should exercise good dental self-care habits. These include regular brushing and flossing, avoiding sweets and starchy foods, and seeing your dentist for regular appointments. It’s best to avoid alcohol, tobacco products and illicit drugs, as these can interfere with the recuperative process or cause premature implant failure.
Dental implants are a great way to regain lost functionality and enjoy a higher quality of life. Surgical complications are rare and the vast majority of patients enjoy lasting benefits. Talk to your dentist about this gentle, effective form of restoration during your next appointment.
About the Author
Dr. John Krell earned his DDS degree from the University of Texas School of Dentistry. He uses only state-of-the-art equipment and approaches to ensure his patient’s well-being. You can reach his office online or by calling (713) 877-1775.