There are many treatment options out there for people who are missing teeth. Implant dentistry remains one of the most effective options to consider. Our Virginia Beach, VA practice uses dental implants to support crowns, bridges, and dentures for tooth replacement, giving patients healthy and beautiful smiles in the process.
Dr. Scott Parr and Dr. Tara Frey receive many questions about the treatment time for dental implants. The team at The Smile Center would like to offer this general recovery timeline so you understand what this process involves.
Immediately following the oral surgery for dental implants, patients can expect to feel some grogginess and discomfort as the sedation and local anesthetic wear off. Patient may want to consider taking a day or so off from work to recover if their jobs are physical demanding.
Patients should focus on resting after their oral surgery, and avoiding strenuous physical activities.
In the first few days after getting dental implants placed, patients can expect some amount of soreness and discomfort. This can be addressed with pain medications used as directed. Swelling around the gumline and face is normal, and can be managed with cold compresses applied to the cheek in 15 to 20-minute intervals.
Patients should modify their diet to prevent sensitivity and discomfort. Eat soft foods or liquid foods during this time. Make sure all food items and beverages are room temperature. Avoid using drinking straws to prevent harming the blood clots or sutures used during oral surgery.
Make sure to brush and floss normally to prevent tooth decay, gum disease, and post-surgical infection. There may be some additional oral hygiene instructions provided for the implant itself, which you should follow closely.
Patients will notice improvements in their surgical side effects over the course of the first two weeks. This means reduced discomfort, less bruising and swelling along the gumline, and a general return to normal.
By the end of the first week or so, patients will have returned to our Virginia Beach practice for a follow-up visit. This will be the first in a series of follow-up to ensure that the patient is healing properly. Attend all of these follow-ups as scheduled.
At the end of the one-month mark, patients should be generally back to normal in terms of their overall health and wellness. There may still be some sensitivity around the implant itself, but it will be much less pronounced than it was in the initial days of recovery. Continue practicing good oral hygiene in the months ahead to ensure successful treatment.
Over the course of the next few months, a process known as osseointegration will occur. This means the fusion of the dental implant post with the jawbone and gum tissue. The process allows the dental implant to function just like a natural tooth root would. Only when osseointegration is done will the dental implant be ready to support a bridge, crown, or denture.
The overall recovery time for dental implant patients can vary. Most patients will reach the end of their treatment by six to nine months. During the consultation process at our Virginia Beach dental care center, we will be able to discuss these matters in greater detail and give you a better timeframe for your treatment.
For more information about dental implants and why they may be a good option for you, be sure to contact our team of skilled cosmetic and restorative dentists. The Smile Center can be reached by phone at (757) 473-8482.