Have you recently lost a tooth and are unsure what replacement option to go with? With the advancements that have been made over the years in restorative dentistry, many dental practices today provide a wide array of options to replace missing teeth. Replacing a missing tooth as quickly as possible is important for the aesthetics and functionality of your smile, as it is for your long-term oral health. If tooth loss is left unaddressed, it can lead to shifting teeth, jaw pain, and even bone loss. Our doctors at Gulch Dental Studio in Nashville, TN can place dental implants to replace your missing teeth.
For this option, you will need to undergo dental implant surgery. Your doctor will carefully explain the surgery in detail, including the recovery process so you know what to expect beforehand. A smooth dental implant surgery recovery is dependent on a variety of factors.
Solid Bone Density
Before the surgery takes place, the doctor will determine if you have adequate bone density to support the dental implant. Because the implant is placed directly into the jawbone, it needs a sufficient amount of tissue to bond with. A weak jawbone can lead to dental implant failure. If bone loss has occurred, patients can undergo a bone grafting procedure beforehand.
Having a sturdy jaw structure and healthy gums allows for a smooth recovery and successful osseointegration. During this four- to six-month healing period, the implant will integrate with surrounding tissues and provide a solid base for the restoration.
Good Oral Hygiene
Another key factor to your recovery is keeping your teeth and gums clean and free from unhealthy bacteria. After surgery, you will be more prone to infection, so it’s imperative that you keep the surgical site clean by rinsing with approved mouthwashes and follow gentle brushing and flossing techniques.
Following Post-op Instructions
After surgery, your doctor will also provide you with post-op instructions to follow at home to encourage a successful outcome. These will include:
- Applying ice packs to your jaw in 20-minute intervals to alleviate swelling and bruising
- Taking prescribed medications to reduce pain and lower your risk for infection
- Biting down on gauze or a tea bag to reduce excess bleeding
- Avoiding any spicy, hard-to-chew foods throughout your recovery
- Resting for at least the first 24 to 48 hours. Many patients prefer to have this procedure on a Thursday or Friday so they have the weekend to recover.
- Maintaining a soft food diet of smoothies, ice cream, mashed potatoes, etc. for the first several days
- Avoiding drinking from a straw for the first week
Following the above tips and any other instructions given to you by your doctor will help you heal faster and enjoy positive results.
To learn more about dental implants and the recovery process, we encourage you to schedule a consultation with one of our skilled doctors at Gulch Dental Studio. Finding a dentist who is experienced in dental implants is key to achieving a smooth recovery. You can contact our office by filling out our online form or giving us a call at (615) 334-0184.