The dental implant procedure involves making a minor surgical incision into the jaw bone and placing a titanium rod into the jawbone. It will then take 2 weeks to heal and several months for the implant to fuse with the jaw bone in a process called osseointegration.
A second procedure is then performed, where the abutment is placed onto the titanium implant which a crown will then be connected to. While healing after both appointments only takes a matter of days to a couple of weeks, the longest aspect of the procedure is osseointegration which can occur between 3-10 months.
Immediately after dental implant surgery, you can expect some bleeding and swelling to occur. The area where the implant was placed will be inflamed, so you will want to repeatedly ice on your cheek in 15-minute intervals for the first 36 hours.
If general or IV anesthesia was administered, you’ll need to stick to fluids. Drinking lots of water will prevent nausea and vomiting. For the first few days, you should eat soft, cool foods. Things to avoid include:
Right after getting dental implants, some bleeding is normal and can last for 48-72 hours. The dentist will give you gauze to bite down on to stop the bleeding. You will fold the gauze to about a square inch and place it over the sight of the bleeding and bite down for 30 minutes to an hour.
If you are bleeding excessively, don’t spit, because this can worsen the problem. Instead, rinse your mouth with water and place new gauze on the site. If the bleeding persists, bite down on a caffeinated wet tea bag instead. Tea contains tannic acid, which assists blood clotting.
If you are bleeding excessively, for a prolonged period, or if your dental implants start bleeding after you have had them for a while, you should contact your dentist right away. This could be a sign that you have developed mucositis or peri-implantitis.
Mucositis: This is when inflammation in the soft tissue occurs around your implant to cause swelling, redness, and bleeding. This can be caused by poor oral hygiene or excess dental cement. If excess cement is identified, your condition should improve once it is removed. If the cause is poor oral hygiene, you will need to ensure that you are taking care of your teeth and dental implants by brushing and water flossing regularly. This condition is reversible.
Peri-implantitis: This is a more serious condition that involves inflammation of the soft tissue and deterioration of the jawbone. You will have similar symptoms as mucositis and it is often accompanied by an infection.
To identify peri-implantitis, a dentist will have to take x-rays to take a look at the jawbone. You are at risk of developing peri-implantitis if you smoke, have diabetes, have a history of gum disease, don’t take care of your teeth, have excess cement, or bite with too much force.
Peri-implantitis often requires surgical intervention. Depending on the state of the infection, your implant may need to be removed.
If you notice any signs of mucositis or peri-implantitis, you should make an emergency dental appointment immediately.
Whether you’re looking to get dental implants for the first time or experiencing excess bleeding, you should come in to see us. Our lovely team here at North Park Dental will give you all of the information you need to make the decision that’s best for you. Contact us today to schedule an appointment with Dr. Ricardo Munoz.