Getting dental implants is a great way to replace missing teeth, but it's not a quick process. Dental implants need to be set up in stages in order to allow the body time to heal and recover. If you aren't sure what to expect immediately after your dental implants are put in, here's what you need to know.
Putting It In
The first thing that will happen, of course, is that your dentist will put the implants in. This is usually done while you're under a local anesthesia so that you won't feel anything. A small incision will be made in the gums, and the implant will be inserted into a tiny hole made in the bone beneath it. Then, the gums are stitched up around the top of the implant.
After the procedure, you'll be able to go home immediately, especially if you have someone to drive you. People shouldn't always drive immediately after a procedure involving local anesthesia, as it can leave you a little woozy.
It's important to note here that you won't have a tooth mounted on the implant just yet. This is because the implant can't withstand the pressure of chewing until it's done healing. Instead, there will be just the tiny little peg visible above your gums.
During this time, you'll need to take good care of your gums to ensure the health of the implant. Follow your dentist's directions explicitly, but typically, your dentist will want you to clean the area gently and liberally every single day. Keeping the gums healthy is a must, so you don't want food or bacteria getting into the incision area. Using a toothbrush or interdental brush, carefully cleanse the gums around the implant, as well as the top of the implant. You can also use mouthwash to help flush out bacteria.
As you take care of your dental implant at home, it will begin to heal and combine with the bone. The bone is actively growing bone cells over the implant while you're caring for the visible part. This is what will cement the implant in place and make it strong enough so that it can withstand chewing. Once this process is complete (your dentist will check with X-rays), you'll be able to have your dental crown mounted and can go back to chewing and caring for your teeth the way you always have.
To learn more about dental implants, contact a dentist.