Dental implants are artificial teeth that replace natural teeth that are missing. They are categorized as a prosthetic, but look more natural than any of the other tooth replacement alternatives. Additionally, the function of dental implants is far greater than other alternatives.
In the past the process of getting dental implants was quite lengthy, taking 3 to 6 months for placement. However, more advanced procedures now allow for same day or immediate load dental implants. This shortens the procedure drastically, and allows people to travel overseas to get dental implants without requiring repeat or lengthy stays. However, many dentists still recommend that patients wait 4 months before the permanent implants are inserted.
Length of the procedure: 15 to 20 minutes per post
Hospital Stay: Dental implants are placed in an outpatient procedure.
Recovery before traveling home: Patients seeking dental implants through medical tourism can return home 24 to 48 hours after their procedure in most cases.
Travel Tip: It is best to plan to stay a few days beyond your dental implant procedure. This ensures that care is available to you should a complication arise or rejection of the implant occur.
The procedure will begin with the administration a local anesthetic. The dentist will begin by preparing the socket of the dental implant, which may involve removing the natural tooth and clearing debris from the bone socket. The socket is then drilled with a bone drill to further prepare for the implant.
Once the socket is prepared the dental implant is placed. The implant is tested with a torque wrench to ensure it can withstand force. Next, and abutment is attached to the implant and an x-ray is done to confirm successful implantation. The procedure is finalized with a temporary crown so the patient does not appear toothless while the permanent crown is being made.
After the Procedure
After your dental implant procedure you are released from care immediately. However, you can expect a certain amount of discomfort in the days immediately following the procedure. Side effects after dental implant placement may include swelling of the gums and face, pain at implant site, bruising of skin and gums and minor bleeding.
Self care after dental implants:
• Eat only soft foods for 5 to 7 days
• Take antibiotic to prevent infection
• No physical activity for 3 days
• No alcohol, nicotine or tea for 3 days
• Clean teeth thoroughly and carefully
• Use dental floss
• Avoid hot liquids and food for a few days
• Use ice for swelling and pain
• Do not push tongue on dental implant for 2 to 4 weeks
In general the placement of dental implants is quite successful. Occasionally, the dental implant fails to fuse with the patient’s bone. When this happens the dental implant must be removed and the procedure can be repeated in a month or two. Patients can increase the success of a dental implant taking by practicing good oral hygiene, keeping all dental appointments and avoiding chewing hard candy, ice and other hard foods that may crack the dental crown.
Risks and Complications
As is with any procedure there are risks associated with getting dental implants. The following is a list of the most common risks and complications:
• Reaction to anesthetic or medication
• Infection of implant site
• Structural injury or damage near implant site
• Tooth injury or damage near implant site
• Nerve damage
• Tingling or numbness of the teeth, gums, lips or chin
• Sinus problems
Contact your physician if any of the following occur:
• Bleeding continues or reoccurs
• Pain continues, reoccurs or is uncontrolled by medication
• Sutures come apart
• Swelling persists or reoccurs
• Fever is 100.4 degrees or higher
• Nausea or vomiting are severe