A common concern among many patients during a dental consultation is the duration needed for their implants to feel normal. There is usually no sensation on the implant. Unlike a natural tooth, an implant lacks the necessary nerve endings or roots that enable the sensation of pain, cold, or hot substances.
Always ask your dentist all the relevant questions that can help you fully understand all aspects of dental implants. This knowledge is helpful should you choose to shop around for an affordable treatment plan, like many patients who have found affordable dental implants here.
While a dental implant has no means of providing sensory feedback to your body, its presence can cause the feeling of having an unnatural object in the mouth. The duration required for your mouth and tongue to acclimatize to a dental implant’s presence is what most patients refer to when they talk about feeling “normal.”
The process of having a dental implant can be long and stressful. This means that getting the sensation of “normal” in your mouth will depend on the procedure and other relevant factors.
In-depth knowledge of the entire dental implant procedure is necessary to help you know what to expect.
How Long Does a Dental Implant Procedure Take?
Surgical procedures have different timelines for recovery, including a dental implant procedure. Of course, recovery and getting back to a regular lifestyle do not necessarily mean the same thing. A patient that has undergone a complicated dental implant procedure, for example, may have recovered from the traumatic effects of the surgery after a few days. This, however, does not mean that such a patient is ready to resume eating whichever kinds of foods they want. Any haste or recklessness on the patient’s part could result in aggravation of their dental condition; such patients could find themselves having to experience the physical pain and initial dental complications that required this procedure in the first place.
A dental implant procedure generally follows a familiar process:
This first stage is key to setting an effective treatment plan. A dentist will want to speak with you at length about the details of your dental condition. Not all patients are viable candidates for a specific dental implant procedure. For example, if you have a weak jawbone, you may require a zygomatic dental implant instead of an endosteal one.
This session may also involve an oral examination to ascertain the precise state of your dentition. This appraisal may include the use of computed tomography (CT) scans to provide a three-dimensional representation of the entire oral cavity and the affected jaw area in particular. All such details are discussed at length during this initial consultation.
2) Dental Impressions
Assuming you and your dentist agree on the exact dental implant procedure, creating a dental impression of your teeth, jaws, and gums may become necessary.
While this procedure may entail some negligible discomfort, it is quick. An elastic material (called alginate) is placed over the teeth and jaw, making a near-perfect negative imprint of the teeth and jaw structures. Sometimes, a cavity in the tooth may necessitate the dentist to file such a tooth before getting the dental impressions.
While not the norm in dental implant procedures, your dentist may recommend extracting a tooth (or some teeth). A determining factor in this scenario is the state of your jawbone. Some dental implant procedures can be performed immediately after a tooth extraction if the jawbone is robust enough to support the incoming metal post of the dental implant.
4) Bone Grafting
The metal post of the dental implant requires a jawbone strong enough to support it. If you’ve been missing a tooth for some time, then a bone grafting procedure becomes essential before dental implant surgery. Several months could elapse before you recover from the bone grafting procedure. Only then can the dental implant be inserted.
5) Implant Surgery
This surgical procedure is the culmination of all the above steps. The dentist will embed the implant in your jawbone; depending on your wishes, he may decide to leave it below the gum line.
Bruised gums, minimal bleeding, and swelling of the gums are all part of the recovery stage. Antibiotics and painkillers will help to smooth over these symptoms.
Complete recovery will vary from one individual to another; the number of implants inserted could prolong the healing period. A straightforward dental implant procedure without bone grafting, for example, is less traumatic on the jaws and gums. This would mean a shorter recovery period.
Lifestyle choices like smoking also determine the healing pace; it is advisable to quit such habits to hasten the healing process temporarily.