Dental implants allow those who have lost teeth to get the same look and feel they had before tooth extraction.
At Excel Dentistry in Glen Rock, NJ, Dr. Mayra Modesto-Garrido replaces damaged teeth using dental implants. Keep reading to learn more about how dental implants work and how long it takes to get used to them.
What are dental implants?
When a tooth is extracted, its replacement requires two parts – an implant (a metal post anchored to the jawbone) and a dental crown that looks like a tooth and screws onto the post. The dental implant post is typically made from titanium or a biocompatible material.
It’s crucial that dental implants are of high quality, so your results are stable and durable, and allow you to chew and speak normally.
What are the benefits of dental implants?
A dental implant and crown (or bridge) allow patients who are missing teeth to:
- Get the same look and feel as their natural teeth
- Prevent oral deterioration and bone loss in the jaw
- Avoid shifting teeth and other issues that result from missing teeth
- Avoid cavities and gum disease
- Improve their smile
- Maintain their face shape and overall appearance
After tooth loss, it’s important to learn about getting dental implants as soon as possible. As time goes on, the jawbone deteriorates, and you may need a bone graft before getting a dental implant.
How long does it take to get used to dental implants?
If you need a bone graft, that is a separate procedure that requires healing before an implant is installed.
However, the healing process can be relatively fast if you get an implant shortly after tooth extraction. Because they don’t rest on the gum as dentures do, you can put pressure on them without pain, and the feeling of chewing should return to near-normal after a few weeks.
Patients may experience some soreness in the days following the placement of a dental implant and crown. While you may be prescribed medication for pain if appropriate, most patients can get by with cold compresses and OTC pain medication after the first few days.
It typically takes a few weeks to get used to the feeling of an implant and crown, especially if you have been missing a tooth for some time.
For the first couple weeks, patients will want to stick to soft, mild foods that don’t pull at the tooth or irritate the surgical site. It’s not a good idea to indulge in sticky foods for a few weeks so they do not pull out the crown (generally, these foods aren’t good for dental health). Any hard foods (like crisp apples) or very chewy foods (like steak) should be avoided for a few weeks to give your jaw time to heal.
You should continue to brush and floss daily when you get a dental implant and crown, but be careful around the surgical site until it heals. Good hygiene is crucial to avoid further infections, cavities, and gum disease that can affect the integrity of the implant and/or crown.
Get dental implants in Glen Rock, NJ
If you are missing a tooth or need to schedule a tooth extraction, it’s important to plan for your dental implant as soon as possible. Even if you’ve waited months or years, there are still ways to install implants to improve your smile and overall oral health.
If you’d like to learn more about dental implants, schedule an appointment with Dr. Mayra Modesto-Garrido at Excel Dentistry in Glen Rock, NJ.