Patients who are considering dental implants are often concerned about the amount of time required to perform and heal from implant procedures. It can take as long as six months for a traditional implant to heal well enough for a crown or a prosthesis to be placed, and most patients aren’t interested in waiting half a year to be able to resume normal activities like eating their favorite foods and smiling for the camera.
That’s why we offer a better alternative at Gulfside Periodontics.
Immediate Load Dental Implants
Immediate load dental implants, also referred to somewhat colloquially as “same-day implants” or “teeth in a day,” allow our patients to walk out of their implant procedures with full sets of natural-looking artificial teeth. Most patients who have undergone traditional implant procedures must wait between four and six months for their new artificial teeth, but with today’s technological advances, there’s no longer a need to wait up to half a year for the final prosthesis.
The Same-Day Implant Procedure
Based on a procedure that was developed originally by Nobel Biocare, the same-day implant procedure utilizes advanced computer-aided technology to create a final prosthesis before you head in for your implant surgery. Once 3-D scans have been taken of the area, your periodontal dentist will use a tiny medical device known as a computer-guided arthroscope to facilitate the correct placement of the new implant without any need for flap reflection. By removing the need for more invasive surgical procedures, we can offer our patients less postoperative discomfort, swelling, and bruising than dentists performing traditional implant procedures.
Addressing Eligibility Concerns
Unfortunately, not all patients are eligible for same-day implants. Those who have substantial bone or soft tissue loss will likely require additional bone and tissue grafts prior to undergoing their implant procedures and may not be able to support the immediate placement of a new artificial tooth. If you’re replacing teeth that have been missing for many years and are concerned about the health of your jaw bone and the surrounding soft tissue, don’t despair, though; our periodontal associates offer plenty of alternatives that will still allow you to take advantage of permanent dental implants. Click here to learn more about everyday dental implants.
Options for Patients Missing Multiple Teeth
Those who are missing full top or bottom arches of teeth may be interested in learning more about all-on-4 dental prostheses, which can still be placed using the immediate load dental implant procedure. Our gulf coast dentists will simply evaluate the current health of your jaw bone and place implants in areas that remain strong and viable, often avoiding the need for bone grafting entirely. A specialized prosthesis will then be attached to these implants the same day, allowing patients to walk away with a full arch of new, natural-looking teeth.
This dental prosthesis will be attached using specialized abutments and will be fabricated prior to your visit, allowing you to walk out with a new acrylic prosthesis designed to restore your mouth almost immediately to a normal, functional state. Patients heading in for same-day all-on-4 implants will, however, be asked to modify their diets slightly for the first three to six months after their procedures in order to facilitate osseointegration, or full bone integration, of the implant into the jaw bone.
Ensuring that your new smile will last a lifetime is a simple matter of providing adequate post-operative self-care. Patients should avoid eating until the local anesthesia used to prevent pain during the procedure has worn off and should avoid hot drinks and food for the first 24 hours after they return home. It’s also important to avoid disturbing the area with the tongue or fingers and to abstain from strenuous exercise for 48 hours.
Any swelling or bruising present at the implant site should recede within two to three days and can be treated at home using ice packs wrapped in a towel for the first 24 hours. Most patients find that after the first day has passed, it is more beneficial to switch to gentle heat in treating their swelling. In the unlikely event that pain and swelling persist for more than a few days, patients should return to their dentists for an evaluation.
Dealing with Pain
You should experience no pain at all on the day of your implant procedure, as the entire area will be numbed using a local anesthetic. Mild soreness is normal for several days after the procedure has been completed, but it can usually be managed effectively using over-the-counter painkillers.
Cleaning and Dental Hygiene
All of a patient’s natural teeth should be cleaned as usual with a toothbrush and floss prior to heading in for surgery, as the success of this procedure depends largely on keeping the mouth clean. You should also continue to brush your natural teeth as usual beginning the evening after the procedure, although it is best to avoid brushing the surgical site itself for a few days, as the area will likely be quite tender. During this initial healing period, patients should wash the area with warm salt water rather than alcohol-based mouthwashes to ensure that the area remains clean and to encourage proper healing. Most patients find that they can resume light brushing within a few days.
Once the implant site has healed, patients can expect their same-day implants or all-in-4 prostheses to look, feel, and function just like normal teeth. They can be cleaned using a soft-bristle toothbrush and floss and allow patients to chew and speak normally within a remarkably short time-frame after completion. With adequate care and routine visits to a local dentist, these prosthetic teeth can last for decades, or longer.
Get Started Today
The first step toward getting new, natural-looking and long-lasting prosthetic teeth is to schedule an appointment for an initial consultation. During this consultation, we will discuss dental implant cost and treatment options, perform a thorough patient examination and inquire about the patient’s overall health and history, and come up with a comprehensive treatment plan. We want all our patients to feel confident going into their same-day implant procedures, so we encourage our patients to ask about any questions or concerns they have.
Give Gulfside Periodontics a call today at 228-875-1881 and feel confident in your smile again.