Dental implant surgery is becoming more common as patients tend to prefer a more permanent solution to tooth loss. Dental implants allow more freedom and are just like your real teeth, unlike dentures that require more care and can cause embarrassing mishaps when eating and talking.
The word "surgery," however, may cause some concern for some people, so here are some answers to FAQs to help you make an informed decision.
Is It Really Surgery?
Yes, placing dental implants is a surgical procedure. During the surgery, the patient is often under sedation or anesthesia. However, this is a choice as some patients choose to stay awake. You and the surgeon can discuss your preferences and what to expect.
During the procedure, the oral surgeon replaces tooth roots with screw posts and the missing teeth with artificial ones. These new teeth function and look like real teeth.
How Painful Is The Procedure?
For most patients, there is very little discomfort involved with the procedure, especially for patients who opt for anesthesia. Patients also say that implants are less painful than a tooth extraction.
After the implant procedure, you may have mild pain or soreness. However, over-the-counter medication helps relieve pain.
How Long Is The Recovery Time?
Healing time can vary from person to person, but in most patients the recovery time is short. Here are some facts about recovery:
- You'll likely only miss a couple days of work
- Pain is often managed with over-the-counter options
- Average healing time is 4 to 6 months for full healing
There are some steps you can take for the first day or two to help ensure healing going smoothly:
- Eat soft foods
- Avoid hot food and drinks
- Don't use straws
- Avoid mouth wash
- Gently rinse the mouth with a saltwater solution
Just take recovery one day at a time and you'll be back to enjoy your favorite foods and beverages fairly quickly.
Is The Procedure Worth It?
For most patients, the answer is yes. Implants are a very stable, permanent solution for tooth loss. You care for them just like your real teeth, so there is no hassle with special cleanings, like with dentures.
Since the discomfort is minimal and many implant procedures can be done in one day, you can be back to normal activities and enjoy your new teeth quickly.
If you considering dental implant surgery, discuss this with your dentist. He or she can answer any questions you may have and help you make an informed decision.