Even though your dentist has told you all the benefits of replacing a missing tooth with dental implants, you might still be nervous if you’re having the procedure done. Oral surgery can be intimidating, but if you know what to expect throughout the process it may help calm your nerves.

The procedure involves placing a titanium rod into your jaw to imitate a tooth root, and then later placing an artificial tooth on top to complete the restoration. Your particular case will dictate how much time is required for treatment. Your oral health, how many and which teeth require replacement, and if an extraction is necessary are all factors. A single tooth dental implant surgery typically lasts only 1-2 hours in total.

Local anesthesia or IV sedation are often utilized during dental implant surgery to eliminate discomfort. To prepare for surgery, you may be asked to take antibiotics for a few days to help avoid infection or to rinse with an anti-bacterial mouthwash. Follow your doctor’s instructions for eating on the day of surgery, as you might not be able to eat past midnight the night before if IV sedation will be used. Arrange someone to drive you home from the appointment if you’ll be having the implant surgery with sedation.

Following surgery, small bruising or swelling in the soft tissues are normal responses. Most often any discomfort can be handled with over-the-counter medications like ibuprofen, or your dentist may prescribe stronger medications if needed. Most dental implant patients return to work the day after surgery.

It will take up to a couple of months for the area to heal fully enough for the restoration to be completed. At that time, the dentist will place an artificial tooth on top of the implant to mimic a real tooth. The result looks and functions very naturally. You’ll be able to care for your final restoration just like your other natural teeth. Gentle brushing and flossing plus regular checkups will help you maintain your new complete smile.

Contact the dental implants specialist at Smile Solutions in Norman Oklahoma today to schedule your consultation.

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