Dental implants are a great solution for people who have lost their teeth and wish to restore their looks and normal dental functions. Compared with removable dentures, which are easier to produce but may not fit well all the time, a dental implant produces a more natural result since it resembles a tooth root. Although often mistaken as an alternative to dentures, a dental implant does not comprise a complete tooth but only its root. Any dentists in Mt. Pleasant, SC should explain to their patients that, to complete the restoration, an implant must be fitted with a bridge or an artificial crown.
Like any invasive dental surgery that involves manipulation of underlying bone structure, there are specific measures a patient must observe during the postoperative stage. This is a very crucial stage as poor management of the wound can cause infections, which in severe cases may require another round of surgery. Thus, a patient must be well informed about the necessary postoperative care.
The duration of the implant process depends on the number of implants to be placed. Fewer dental implants enable patients to feel comfortable and go back to doing everyday tasks within a short time. In the first few days, patients need to rest and take things easy as too much strain on the facial muscles influence the gum and bone structure surrounding the implant.
For at least 30 minutes after the procedure, the patient must bite a gauze packing to prevent continuous bleeding. Dr. Jeff Gardner in Mt. Pleasant, SC normally prescribes medication to reduce inflammation, relieve pain, and counter irritation. Non-prescribed medications are limited to pain relievers and analgesics to control fever.
Just because the wound is starting to heal doesn’t mean the patient can return to doing routine activities. For the first few weeks, the implant is not yet strong enough to bear extreme pressures, especially when biting hard foods. Therefore, it is advisable to stick to a soft but nutritious diet until the implant completely integrates with the bone, just like a natural tooth root. It normally takes anywhere from three to six months for this to happen.
Patients should also avoid smoking during the convalescent stage, as this prevents tissues from regenerating and slows down the blood clotting process, extending the recovery period. Within 7 to 10 days after surgery, Dr. Jeff Gardner needs to remove the stitches on the wound. Should Dr. Gardner find that the wound is still fresh because of constant smoking, they normally provide instructions that are more stringent to their patients.