What to expect during a dental implant procedure? 8 things you should know about!

You might have concerns about what to expect during a dental implant procedure. It is normal to have worries or questions about this treatment, this is why we are here to help you understand the process from the first-person perspective. 

You may have heard it’s a long process and sometimes it could get slightly painful, and this probably worries you. It is a little price you have to pay for a permanent and life-changing solution. You will need patience and understanding of the journey to get a dental implant.

This is why we created this article to talk to you about what to expect during a dental implant treatment procedure, so you are informed and have fewer worries and concerns. You will feel much more comfortable and informed about the dental implant process and realize it’s not as scary as you may think.

Let’s start right away!

What awaits me during the implant treatment process?

You already know the dental implant procedures that first you should get an implant post, wait for the healing, and finally wait for your prosthesis to be shaped uniquely for your need. After then, your recovery process begins. Here, we will talk about what to expect during a dental implant procedure from the patient’s point of view. What do you feel under anesthesia or when can you go back to your daily life and what difficulties you will come across during the treatment process? We explained the most important and interesting topics that dental implant treatment patients ask for.

You will be under local anesthesia

First of all, you should understand that this operation is pain-free. You will feel no pain during the dental implant operation and you do not have to worry about the process of surgery. They apply local anesthesia on your gums and jaw during which you can only feel the insertion of the needle and that is all. After that, you do not feel any pain but just pressure on your bones.

When it comes to choosing the right anesthesia options in dental implant procedures, dentists usually prefer to use local anesthesia whether it’s a single or multiple implant. You will feel nothing but pressure on your teeth when you are under local anesthesia. If you feel too anxious during the procedure they might also give you sedation so that you get relaxed more.

 

You may feel pain after the operation

Pain is a common side effect of the procedure. During a dental implant procedure, they use different tools and access nerve points. This gives you no pain since you are under the effect of anesthesia. Though afterward, approximately for 1 to 2 weeks, you might feel mild pain. Right after the operation, you will still be numb. Once the numbness fades away, starting with a little discomfort, the pain reaches its edge point within the first 72 hours. It is still normal, your doctor prescribes pain medications knowing this will happen. During an increased and unbearable pain situation, you should contact your oral surgeon.

The amount of pain after the operation depends on the type of surgery and your pain threshold. If you did not have enough bone structure your dentist uses bone grafting to make sure there is an adequate amount of jawbone for an implant. With bone grafting, it is possible to see a bit more painful recovery period. Besides, if you have a low or high pain threshold your oral surgeon will also consider this situation and gives you the right amount of medicines.

You might have swellings

After the surgery swelling is common. You do not need to worry about it. It is because dentists make incisions, and tooth extraction and insert material in your jawbone. These are normally traumatic actions if not performed in a surgical operation and your body naturally shows a reaction.

The first thing you can do to subside the swelling is to follow your oral surgeon’s instructions. The medicines they prescribed should help with the swelling as well, such as ibuprofen. They might also recommend you use ice packs to subside the swelling. The first attempts at reducing swelling will only work for the first 72 hours. So it is important to follow the instructions they gave to you to have less swelling during your recovery time.

You will be temporarily toothless and not feel your best

During the healing period of your jawbone, you will be temporarily toothless and this should not scare you. They will give you dentures if you need to, which will give you a pleasurable look for a while, and you will be able to do your activities without any problem.

You will feel space in the implant area which is not the best feeling. Do not worry we are aware of this situation. You should think about this process as a big step in the right course. Look from a different point of view, if you haven’t decided to get your teeth replaced with an implant, as a result of your former situation, you might have had to live without your teeth for a longer period. In this scenario, you do not have to worry about it because it is just temporary and you know that it will end most likely in 4 to 6 months.

You will feel impatient

The most time taking process is the first healing process of your post. They place the post in your tooth root and you should wait for your jawbone to accept it. You might need to get several appointments with your dentists and you may start to become impatient. During this time do not lose your temper and always remember that once you get your best smile, you will thank yourself for doing this. It is a permanent solution for your best-looking smile and with every step, you take you are getting closer to that dream. Let’s make your dream and proceed!

You will have to change your routine

Since the implanted area is a bit sensitive and the healing takes time, you should do some changes to your habits. After your implanting procedures are finished, you should postpone or change some of your daily routine activities.

Follow your dentist’s oral hygiene rules

After you got your implant you should care about your oral hygiene. First 24 hours you are not advised to brush your teeth. You might resume your daily oral hygiene afterward. Care to rinse your mouth after eating anything for better oral health.

Keep your diet soft

During the first 24 hours what you eat is important to protect your teeth. After 1-2 hours after the surgery, you can eat soft foods, that are warm or cold liquid and do not require chewing. Eating or drinking hot foods is not recommended as they can dilute the vessels and increase the wound healing period. Besides, avoid using a straw as its vacuum effect might damage the stitches. You can ask your dentist when can you go back to your normal eating routine.

Wait for the right time for your exercising

We do not say that you should be a couch potato during your recovery period but you should abstain from some strenuous activities. Especially in the first days after the surgery, avoid sudden moves to keep your stitches stable. Performing strenuous activities might also increase your swelling and bleeding. Besides, you will have different eating habits for a while which affects your nutrition intake for exercise. After the first week, you might begin performing your exercise with light movements. Talk with your oral surgeon to understand the effects of exercising during your healing time.

You may feel weird

During the first stage of the dental implant process, they take out your nerves and living tissues in the area and put the implant root. This might feel weird while you are waiting for the crown to be placed on. Furthermore, after the crown is placed and if you had no teeth before in the area where you get the implants, you might feel a little bit weird in the first weeks. It is because your normal teeth have nerves in them which make you feel the heat, pressure, and pain.

The dental implants have no connection with your living tissue giving you these signals. The only thing you can feel when your implants are placed is your gums surrounding them. It might feel awkward at first like an object in your mouth stuck and not moving. But once you get used to it, which you will, you can hardly notice the difference between your actual teeth and implants.

Besides, you will start to enjoy using them as time passes because these artificial teeth indeed act like your original teeth after all, and they are the best option to give you both functional and natural teeth.

You might start pronouncing different words

If the implants are placed in your frontal teeth, you will need some time to adjust your speech with the implants. Especially pronouncing the words requiring the frontal teeth will be possible or slightly easier if you have just a single or a couple of teeth missing before. After a while, you will realize that you begin to start talking with the right pronunciations and maybe now you can utter the sounds that you were not able to before.

References:

O’ Dwyer S, Riordain RN. The patient experience of dental implant surgery: a literature review of pertinent qualitative studies. Ir J Med Sci. 2021;190(2):835-842. doi:10.1007/s11845-020-02327-y The patient experience of dental implant surgery: a literature review of pertinent qualitative studies – PubMed (nih.gov)

Kahn A, Masri D, Shalev T, Meir H, Sebaoun A, Chaushu L. Patients’ Perception of Recovery after Dental Implant Placement. Medicina (Kaunas). 2021;57(10):1111. Published 2021 Oct 15. doi:10.3390/medicina57101111 Patients’ Perception of Recovery after Dental Implant Placement – PubMed (nih.gov)

 

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