6640 Embassy Blvd.
Port Richey, FL 34668
13736 Little Rd.
Hudson, FL 34667
Mon to Fri: 8am - 8pm
A dental implant can oftentimes be the preferred solution for a cracked, infected, or missing tooth. Dental implants are tiny metal posts that act as an artificial tooth root. They sit in your jaw and support a crown. This provides a completely natural look that is one of the most durable dental solutions available. Despite dental implants 95% success rate, reported by WebMD, the overall procedure is not simple. Understanding how dental implants work and what the procedure involves is necessary!
Dr. Estrada will take x-rays during your first appointment to obtain a complete image of your mouth and jaw. These x-rays will help Dr. Estrada identify problems like impacted teeth and bone loss. The x-rays will reveal the state of your teeth and jaw which will allow Dr. Estrada to formulate a dental health plan that could involve additional procedures alongside the implants.
An impression is an imprint of your teeth and mouth that helps Dr. Estrada accurately place the implants and create a crown. To create an impression, Dr. Estrada will place a liquid material onto an impression tray. Then, the tray will be placed onto your teeth until the liquid hardens. When the impression is complete, Dr. Estrada will send it to the lab for completion.
Before extracting your tooth or teeth Dr. Estrada will numb the area with local anesthetic. Dr. Estrada will cut away the surrounding tissue and gently loosen the tooth until it breaks free. Once the tooth is removed, Dr. Estrada will place a gauze pad into the socket as a method to control bleeding. Which tooth was extracted and how healthy your jawbone is will determine if the implant can be immediately placed after your extraction. You may require a few weeks to heal from the extraction before getting the implant. If you have bone loss from infection or gum disease, you may need a bone graft before your implant can be placed. Recovery from a jawbone graft can take months.
Dental implant surgery can be done under local or general anesthesia. If you’re using general anesthesia, you’ll have to follow strict rules about eating and drinking before the procedure. You should also prepare to have someone drive you home and stay with you for the rest of the day. After administering the anesthesia Dr. Estrada will cut open your gum to expose the bone underneath. A hole is then drilled into the bone where the implant will be placed. Depending on the location of the implant, Dr. Estrada may place a temporary denture over the implant to fill in the missing tooth.
Dental implant recovery can take several months for your jawbone to heal around the implant. Eventually your jaw will fuse with the metal implant to create a solid base for the crown. Once your jaw has fully healed, Dr. Estrada will fill in your missing tooth with an abutment and crown. This procedure can be performed under local anesthesia. Dr. Estrada will open your gums to expose the dental implant. He will then attach the abutment to the implant and close up the tissue. The abutment will stick up through your gums so that a crown may be attached.
Several days of recovery are required. Taking good care of yourself will speed up the recovery process and allow you to return to your daily activities as soon as possible. Listed below are recommended methods for speedy recovery.
1. Manage pain, bleeding, swelling, and bruising. You’ll probably experience some discomfort in the days following your implant surgery. Bleeding is common during the first 24 hours, but you can keep it under control by biting down on a gauze pad. Use ice to reduce swelling and take pain medications as instructed.
2. Follow the right diet. Hard and crunchy foods can put too much strain on your jaw after the surgery, so you should stick to liquids and soft foods for several days. Soup, yogurt, applesauce, and smoothies are recommended.
3. Rest and relaxation. Take at least two or three days off of work to heal from the surgery. On the day of the surgery, plan to stay in bed or on the couch as any activity may cause extra bleeding or discomfort.
4. Keep the surgical area clean. A saltwater rinse is a great way to keep the implant site clean while it heals. As soon as the swelling goes down, you should resume your normal oral hygiene routine. Don’t brush the surgical area aggressively, but make sure it’s clean.
5. Practice good oral hygiene. Once the dental implant has healed, you should take care of the crown just like you take care of your natural teeth. Brush twice per day and floss regularly, and don’t forget to visit Dr. Estrada regularly for checkups. If you take good care of your oral health, your dental implant can last a lifetime.