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If you’re dealing with missing teeth and are about to get a dental implant, then you probably have lots of questions about the procedure.

While it’s a fairly straightway process, some patients feel better when they have all the information beforehand, so they know what to expect. Check out this short blog post to discover what the dental implant placement process looks like.

How Do Dental Implants Work?

Dental implants are artificial teeth made up of three elements:

  • Metal post
  • Abutment
  • Dental crown

The metal post is the element that gets surgically inserted into the jaw. Following a healing period (about 6 months) patients can go on to receive the abutment and dental crown. The abutment is a connector piece that helps absorb some of the pressure put on the implant when chewing, while the crown is the visible part of the implant.

Metal Post-Placement Process

First, you’ll be given either a local anesthetic to numb the area or even sedation. Your surgeon will let you know beforehand, so you can properly prepare. For instance, with oral consciousness or IV sedation, you will need someone to drive you home because the effects can last for a few hours after surgery.

After that, the surgeon makes a small incision into the gum line, where the missing tooth is. The metal post is then inserted into the jaw, and the surgeon stitches to gums to cover the implant.

As you can see, the process isn’t that complex. Many patients wonder how the metal post can be inserted into something so strong as a jaw bone, but remember the post goes into the socket that your natural tooth’s root used to occupy. 

What to Expect After Your Surgery

When you leave the surgeon’s office, you will most likely not feel any pain. The anesthesia or sedation will need a few more hours before they wear off.

Once they do, you can experience mild to moderate pain, swelling, and even a bit of bleeding, which are all perfectly normal. Symptoms last no more than a few days, and around 1 week after your surgery, you should feel perfectly normal.

Here are some tips on how to care for an implant after your surgery:

  • Eat on the other side of the mouth
  • Eat softer foods for the first 3-4 days, and slowly add more hard foods
  • Don’t brush directly over the implant site, but make sure to brush and floss the rest of your teeth
  • Use saline water or gentle mouthwash to cleanse the mouth
  • Take OTC pain medication like ibuprofen to control pain and swelling

Getting Implants at McCue Dental Health

If you’re interested in dental implants, Wauwatosa dentist Dr. Shaun McCue can help you find out if you’re a good candidate for them, or recommend a more appropriate tooth replacement procedure.

Book a dental implant consultation at McCue Dental Health today!

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