At Woodland Hills Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery, we are proud to offer dental implants as a method for replacing missing teeth. Dental implants are a highly popular treatment. This unique treatment offers numerous benefits over traditional treatments. However, the process of getting dental implants is much more involved. To place the posts, you must undergo a surgical procedure. Here is what you can expect following your implant placement.
As soon as your implant surgery is completed and your gums are sutured around the titanium posts, temporary teeth are set into place. These teeth help to restore some of the functions of your mouth while you heal. Temporary teeth are tailored to your needs. There are a few options, including temporary removable teeth, a temporary bridge, or fixed transitional implants.
After surgery, there is a recovery period involved. During this period, your jawbone gradually fuses to the titanium posts in a process known as osseointegration. This process stabilizes the posts within your jaw, turning them into strong, secure roots that will later become the supports for your permanent crowns. To ensure that you heal properly, it is essential that you follow your post-operative instructions and take care of yourself.
Pain and swelling are common post-surgical issues. Pain can be managed with over the counter pain relievers or with prescription pain medication. Swelling can usually be managed with ice during the first 24 hours and moist heat after 48 hours. It is also important that you rest and limit your activities, particularly in the beginning. As you heal, you can gradually resume your normal lifestyle. Additionally, your diet will need to be altered in the early stages of healing. Stick with soft and liquid foods, especially early on. Avoid foods that are hard, crunchy, chewy, and sticky. As you begin to feel better, you can slowly start to resume your regular diet.
Following your aftercare instructions will help to reduce your risk of experiencing post-surgical issues, but sometimes, problems can still arise. Issues that can occur after, or even during, implant surgery include:
After you have fully healed from implant surgery, your final restorations are placed. The total time it takes you to heal depends on many factors, but it takes anywhere from several weeks to several months. After you heal, we remove your temporary teeth and place the abutments, or connectors, on the exposed ends of the posts. Next, impressions of your mouth are taken. We send your impressions off to our dental lab, where your final teeth are designed and created. Once they are ready, we screw them into place on the implants, leaving you with a strong, stable, beautiful new smile.
Even though the ceramic crowns that replace the visible sections of your missing teeth cannot experience decay, they still need to be brushed and flossed every day. This is true even if all of your teeth have been replaced. Even though ceramic crowns cannot decay, they can still collect plaque and bacteria, both of which can contribute to gum disease. If gum disease develops and progresses, periodontal pockets can form that allow bacteria to travel below the gum line. The bacteria can then begin attacking your jawbone, which can weaken it and ultimately lead to implant failure. Brushing and flossing every day, along with regular dental cleanings and exams, will help to keep your implants, and your mouth, strong and healthy.
Dental implants have a 95% success rate. They are designed to last a long time. They can last a lifetime if they successfully integrate into your jaw. Without successful integration, the implants can become loose or fail altogether. If this happens, however, they can be replaced.
Replacing your missing teeth gives you your life back. Call Woodland Hills Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery today at (818) 999-0900 to learn more and find out if dental implants are right for you.