Three Things You Should Know Before Getting Same-Day Dental Implants
Getting dental implants is typically a months-long process. Technology has advanced so much, however, that you can now have dental implants installed the same day and start using them right away. Before you rush to make an appointment, though, here are three important things you need to know about the procedure.
Everything Is Done the Same Day
Same-day dental implants save massive amounts of time, but the procedure is only able to do that because everything involved with it is done in one appointment. That includes extracting the damaged tooth, installing the implant post, and placing the crown. The patient is then sent home to heal up.
While this process ensures you leave the dentist's office with a replacement tooth, it also means you'll be in the dentist's chair for a long time that day. You may also experience increased pain and discomfort in the coming weeks as the socket heals from the extraction and integrates the implant post at the same time.
More importantly, the way same-day dental implants are handled means not everyone will be a good candidate for them. You must have enough bone in the spot to place the implant, the area can't be infected or diseased, and the tooth can't be placed in a location that is subject to a lot of chewing force.
So, if you need a bone graft, are battling an oral infection, or are trying to replace a molar, you may not be eligible for same-day implants; at least, not until you've taken care of any treatable problems.
The Implant Still Needs Time to Integrate
Osseointegration is the most important step of both traditional and same-day dental implants. This is when the implant post fuses to the jaw bone to provide stability to the crown. There is no way to bypass this step because it depends on your body's ability to grow new bone at the implant site.
It can take two to six months for the implant post to completely integrate into the jaw. During this time, the post cannot move or there's a risk the new bone forming will break, causing the implant to fail.
With traditional implants, a temporary healing cap is placed over the site, which serves as a reminder to the patient not to use that tooth. In same-day dental implants, however, the spot is covered with a crown, making it easier for a patient to forget they have an implant that is still integrating into their jaw. As a result, same-day implants have a higher risk of failure than the traditional process.
Some cosmetic dentists will anchor the implant in place by attaching it to surrounding teeth using various orthodontic measures, which can help prevent it from being moved around. At the end of the day, though, it will be up to you to be mindful and avoid using the tooth until it has fully fused to the jaw.
You'll Be on a Soft Diet for a While
One of the common causes of dental implant failure is diet; specifically, the consumption of hard and crunchy foods, such as nuts, candy, and some raw fruits and vegetables. These foods increase the amount of chewing force needed to break them up, which can inhibit proper osseointegration.
Thus, your dentist will recommend you follow a soft diet while your dental implant heals. Basically, you'll only be able to consume foods that don't require a lot of chewing to eat, such as eggs, boiled or steamed vegetables, and fish.
There's such a variety of foods on the market that this shouldn't cause too much of a disruption in your diet, but you should prepare to make needed alterations and follow the recommended food plan for as long as it takes for the implant to fully integrate.
To learn more about dental implants, contact a dentist.