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Dental implant surgery is a series of procedures where your missing teeth are replaced by artificial screws or implants, which are surgically embedded into your jaw. The biggest advantage of dental implants is that they look and function like your natural teeth, with a slight advantage: they cannot develop cavities.

What Can You Expect From Dental Implant Surgery?

Your dental implant, which is usually constricted out of titanium, will be surgically placed in your jaw. If your tooth has to be extracted first, if you need a sinus lift, or if your jaw bone is inadequate and you need a bone graft, these procedures form part of the process.

Once the implant has been placed, your jaw needs time to heal before the abutment can be placed. Again, you will need to heal so your dentist will likely give you a temporary crown while that takes place. Once he or she is satisfied that you have healed sufficiently, you will have your crown cast.

How Long Does Dental Implant Surgery Take?

Your dental implant surgery will be carried out in phases and your jaw has to heal well enough after each stage before you can move forward and onto the next. Ultimately, how long the surgery takes, depends on factors like:

  • How many teeth have to be replaced
  • The position of the implants
  • The condition of your jaw bone and your overall dental health
  • Whether you need a tooth extraction, sinus lift or bone graft.

While the placement of a single, simple dental implant can be completed in just two hours, the entire dental implant process is likely to take a few months to complete.

What Should You Do Before Your Surgery?

Your dentist will give you anti-bacterial mouthwash to use in the days leading up to the surgery. If you are having IV sedation you should arrange for someone to bring you in and take you home afterwards.

Is Implant Surgery Painful?

Unless you are having a very lengthy or complex procedure, dental implant surgery is typically performed as an outpatient procedure. Local anaesthesia will be administered to manage any pain while the procedure is performed.  During the surgery your dental practitioner will make an incision in your gum, to get to the bone underneath. Then he or she will use a drill to create an opening in your jaw for the new implant.

Once this has been done the implant will be screwed into place. You may have your abutment placed during this stage, or once your dentist is satisfied that you have healed well enough from the placement of the screw.

What To Expect After Dental Implant Surgery?

You can expect some discomfort after surgery including some swelling, bruising and tenderness around the site. Your dental practitioner may prescribe some medication to help manage any pain or discomfort afterwards.

You should be able to return to work the following day.

Your dental practitioner will let you know when to return for follow up appointments so you can be monitored for any complications. Potential complications after surgery include:

  • Failure of the implant to fuse to your jaw bone (osseointegration)
  • Loss of bone around the implant
  • An infection in the gums and bone.

Even though your implant cannot develop cavities it is essential that you follow a strict dental hygiene routine. This means regular brushing and flossing as well as regular visits to your dentist.

Once your implant has fused to your jaw you should be able to bite, chew and speak in exactly the same way that you do with your natural teeth.

Still have questions about dental implant surgery? Speak to a professional: (02) 8599 7103.