You’ve seen many television commercials advertising full-mouth dental implants. These are the ads where an individual is sharing their experiences when suffering from bad teeth. Then they choose to receive dental implants resulting in amazing styles. The patient’s confidence is restored, and they are happy to socialize, eat, and speak in public again. These commercials are accurate since this is what the process is all about.
For those who are missing all their teeth, a full-mouth dental implant can replace them. Dental implants are used to replace natural teeth and their roots to change a patient’s life for the better. Before signing up for this procedure, it is best to understand the process.
Keep reading to learn more!
Three components of the full mouth dental implant process exist, including the implants, which look like cylinders or screws that are placed into the jaw, the artificial teeth, which appear and function like natural teeth, and the abutments that connect new teeth to the implants.
The initial step of the full mouth dental implant procedure is to peel back two gum flaps that expose the underlying jawbone. A hole will then be drilled into the jawbone where the implant is placed. This process is repeated for every tooth being replaced. In some instances, temporary teeth will be worn over the implant site. In other cases, temporary healing caps will be screwed to the top of the implants to seal off the area from the internal oral environment. The next step is for the two gum tissue flaps to be trimmed, repositioned, and shaped over the jawbone and around the healing cap. Sutures are then used to hold the gum tissue in place while the mouth heals. These sutures are typically removed in seven to 10 days.
Over the next two to six months, the bone and implants will bond together to form anchors for the new teeth. At this time, the implants are uncovered, the healing caps removed, and abutments attached to each new tooth. Your gums will then be allowed to heal for a few weeks after this part of the procedure. The last step is for full dentures or bridges to be created that replicate your natural teeth to be attached to the abutments. In a short time, your smile will return to its healthy and natural-looking self and you can speak and chew normally.
In the weeks following your full mouth dental implant surgery, your gums and jaw will continue to heal, so you can begin introducing more solid foods into your diet. When choosing your meals, always make balanced and healthy choices to support the natural healing process. It is important to understand what not to eat after dental implant surgery so your mouth can heal. These foods include:
Chewy and Tough Foods
Chewy and very tough foods like raw vegetables, steak, and jerky, are a bad choice after surgery.
Avoid crunchy foods like popcorn and chips to give your gums time to heal quickly.
Don’t chew on hard candy, ice, nuts, or other hard foods after surgery since this could damage your implants.
Incredibly spicy foods will certainly irritate your surgical site and cause discomfort and pain. Your mouth has open wounds after surgery so spicy foods can be incredibly painful.
Sticky foods like taffy and caramel require a considerable amount of chewing and can stick to the surgical site, thus increasing the risk of infection.
What Precautions to Take After Dental Implants
Although your doctor will provide you with what precautions to take after dental implants, it is important to reiterate them here, so you understand their importance. This list of what precautions to take after dental implants includes:
In addition to avoiding specific foods listed above, you want to stick to soft foods and avoid spicy or hot liquids. After a few days, you can return to a normal diet but don’t bite any hard items until the implant site has fully healed.
It’s normal to experience discomfort, swelling, and minimal bleeding a few days after the surgery. Discomfort is best managed by over-the-counter pain relievers, which will also help decrease the swelling.
Following proper oral hygiene is critical to aid in the healing process but don’t be overzealous. On the day of the surgery, carefully brush and floss the area but don’t rinse. The day after the surgery you can gently rinse a few times per day with warm saltwater.