Managing The Time Between Dental Implant Surgery And The Installation

Even when no bone grafting is required, having a dental implant placed by one of our dentists at Castle Rock Dental takes several months to be done properly.

Dental Implants Are Installed In Stages

Having a dental implant placed in stages is necessary to protect your oral health and ensure the implant heals correctly. Implants which follow the standard process after a consultation with our dentists will follow these implant surgery steps:

  1. Surgery to place the titanium implant post takes place.
  2. If the implant was placed in the lower jaw, you will require 4-5 months to heal and allow the implant to fuse with your jawbone. Implants placed in the upper jaw generally require 6-7 months to correctly fuse with the bone.
  3. Our dentist will create an incision to reach the now-fused implant post and place a healing cap. This healing cap allows your gums to heal in the correct shape to receive the abutment and new tooth. Depending on various factors, you may receive the abutment and a temporary crown instead of the healing cap.
  4. After 4-6 weeks of healing, the permanent dental crown will be either screwed in place or cemented to the abutment.

Options To Protect Your Healing Implant Post

As you can see, there are long healing periods where you will have an area in your mouth which will need to be protected. While you can leave the implant site uncovered, most people opt for dental solutions which both add protection to the implant area and provide a better aesthetic.

  • Temporary bridge – Unlike a permanent dental bridge, your teeth surrounding the implant should not be disturbed to place the temporary bridge. They will be used to anchor the teeth, but it will be removed when it comes time to add the abutment and crown. With a temporary bridge, you can eat more easily as the bridge is a relatively sturdy stand-in for the dental implant.
  • Temporary crown – You may be given the option to choose between the healing cap and having a temporary crown placed. The temporary crown will create a better aesthetic and help you become used to what your permanent crown will look like once it is placed.
  • Flipper – Placing a temporary tooth on a retainer, you can easily wear a flipper over the area where your implant post is healing. However, you cannot eat with a flipper in, and the flipper should be removed every evening to be cleaned.

Foods To Avoid While Waiting For Your Dental Implant

During the various healing stages, you will need to change your diet to accommodate the healing needs of your dental implant. Some of the main kinds of foods to avoid are:

  • Hot foods, as your implant site will be sensitive
  • Do not use straws at all
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Nuts
  • Popcorn
  • Hard snacks like crackers, chips, carrots

Also, if you are a smoker, you should avoid smoking during your healing periods. Instead, you should focus on eating these foods:

  • Oatmeal and soft grains like rice
  • Purees
  • Soft fruits such as melons, bananas, berries, peaches
  • Easily chewed protein such as beans, eggs, fish
  • Dairy products such as yogurt, milk, soft cheeses
  • Steamed vegetables
  • Soups with small, easily chewed ingredients

You should also be sure to remain hydrated, as that will help the healing process. Also, be sure to carefully the implant site after eating. In the early stage while the implant area is still tender, do not touch it directly with your toothbrush but clean around it and rinse thoroughly.

If you are interested in consulting with one of our dentists about the possibility of receiving a dental implant or other dental services, contact us today to set up an appointment.

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