Do you have a gap in your smile that you want to get rid of permanently?
In years gone by, such a thing would have only been achievable with traditional prosthetics like bridges or dentures, but today you can have a more permanent fixture attached to your jaw which will feel as strong and as stable as your natural teeth; oral implants.
In this article, 5 common questions about dental implants Wagga are answered, helping you learn more about these nifty restoratives.
Do oral implants hurt after they have been fitted?
When you have had oral implants fitted, there is likely to be a period of soreness afterwards as the gum heals.
But any discomfort you feel should be manageable using over-the-counter pain relief. If it isn’t, you should talk to your dentist as you may have an infection.
How long does it take for them to heal?
On average, after you have had your implant fitted, there will be a period of about 2-3 weeks afterwards during which the gums will need to heal.
In this period, you should aim to eat softer foods, stay hydrated and keep an eye out for signs of infection.
The fusing of the tooth implant to your jawbone will take between 3-6 months on average, depending on your age, health and lifestyle.
Can I smoke with oral implants?
Generally, it is not a good idea to smoke after you have had oral implants fitted.
Smoking not only increases the risk of you developing oral cancer, but also promotes inflammation of the gum line. This can heighten the chances of you developing gum disease and also increase the chances of you losing the implants prematurely.
If you need help with smoking cessation, talk to your dentist.
Will they get infected?
It is highly unlikely that your oral implants will get infected, provided that you look after them post-fitting.
Generally, you may be advised to keep the implant site clean using warm salt water 4 times a day and will be asked to avoid bruising the area until the gums heal. But, there are some signs of infection that you can look out for; discolouration of the gums (blue or purple), soreness, swelling, presence of pus and a general feeling of being unwell or having a fever.
Should you notice these things, you need to seek emergency medical treatment.
How can I prolong their lifespan?
When it comes to oral implants, you can prolong their lifespan by maintaining a good level of oral hygiene.
This will mean brushing your teeth twice a day, flossing, using interdental brushes and of course, attending your dental surgery for a check-up at least twice a year. If you have a history of gum disease, you may also need to visit your hygienist for check-ups to keep it from recurring.
You can also promote the longevity of your implants by giving up or reducing habits such as smoking cigarettes or consuming alcohol, as both of these can cause inflammation to the gums which can promote the loss of oral implants.
Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.