How Long Should I Wait to Eat Or Drink After A Teeth Cleaning?

Posted by Dr. Soto Feb 23, 2018

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A Swedish orthopedic surgeon named Per-Ingvar Brånemark invented the original dental implant in 1952. Today, they are the gold standard for prosthetic replacement of missing teeth.

Dental implant surgery replaces the tooth root with a metal screw-like post, and damaged or missing teeth with artificial teeth that look and function like natural ones. Dental implants are stable, don’t shift or make noise, and are an excellent alternative to dentures or bridgework.

Dental Implants Explained

Like natural teeth, a dental implant stands independently without affecting the neighboring teeth. The fusion process – “osseointegration” –  between the dental implant and jawbone gives stability, while the titanium construction allows the implant  to integrate with the jawbone without being rejected by the body as a foreign object.

Today, technology and science are responsible for a 98% success rate in dental implant placements.

Among the three common dental replacement techniques – removable appliance (complete or partial dentures), a fixed dental bridge, and dental implants, the last has the fewest disadvantages.

When is it Necessary?

Your dentist might recommend dental implants if:

  • one or more teeth are missing
  • jawbone is fully matured
  • jawbone is adequate to secure the implants
  • Jawbone graft is possible
  • oral tissue is healthy
  • existing health conditions are not detrimental to bone healing
  • dentures are not an option
  • speech is being affected by current tooth structure

Types of Dental Implants

Deciding on a suitable option depends on many factors:

  • location of missing tooth or teeth
  • quantity and quality of the jawbone
  • cost
  • patient’s preference.

Historically two different types of dental implants were used:

Endosteal referring to an implant “in the bone,” and Subperiosteal, referring to one that rested on top of the jawbone under the gum tissue. Subperiosteal implants are not used nowadays because of their unsatisfactory results and long-term performance.

All-On-4 technique – by implant manufacturer Nobel Biocare – is used if all teeth are lost due to decay or gum disease. Just four implants support a denture prosthesis to replace all teeth in a single arch (upper or lower). This is a tooth replacement that is permanent, stable, and feels natural compared to traditional (removable) complete dentures.

The Process

Dental implant surgery is an outpatient procedure performed over many months to allow healing between stages and new bone growth in the jaw.

The dentist examines the site and it’s health and suitability for surgery visually and via imaging technology (scans, X-rays, etc.) to determine if you are a good candidate for the procedure. If he decides to proceed:

  • The damaged tooth is extracted.
  • The jawbone is prepared for surgery, and may involve bone grafting.
  • After it heals, the oral surgeon places the dental implant metal post.
  • The healing period lasts two to six months.
  • The surgeon places the abutment – extension of the implant post.
  • When the soft tissue is healed, the dentist takes molds of teeth and jawbone.
  • And finally places the tooth or teeth.

You may experience some typical discomforts associated with any type of dental surgery:

  • Swollen gums or face
  • Bruised skin and gums
  • Pain at site of implant
  • Minor bleeding

If side effects become worse and do not subside, contact your surgeon right away. They may need to prescribe pain medication or antibiotics.

Potential Risks & Complications

As with any surgery, there are always some risks and side effects for the patient or for the procedure.

  • bleeding
  • infections
  • allergies
  • fractured implant
  • overloaded implant
  • poorly positioned implant
  • damage to surrounding area – nerves, blood vessels, teeth
  • poor bone quality
  • inadequate bone quantity
  • existing medical conditions that are contra-indicative
  • current medications that are contra-indicative
  • sinus problems if implants protrude into a sinus cavity
  • “peri-implantitis” – inflammation of the gum and bone surrounding the implant.

Careful prior consultation and planning with a qualified oral surgeon is critical to ensure that a patient is a good candidate and healthy enough to undergo oral surgery and heal properly.

It is usually possible to make another attempt to replace a failed dental implant, after healing has taken place.

Follow-up Care

Good oral hygiene and routine maintenance care at home and at the dental office are critical. As are follow-up visits to the dental office.

Just as with natural teeth, keep implants, artificial teeth, and gum tissue clean. Specially designed interdental toothbrushes slide in between to clean the tiny spaces around teeth, gums and metal posts, to remove food debris and prevent plaque. 

Schedule regular dental checkups to ensure the health and proper functioning of your implants. The surgeon will examine surrounding soft and hard tissues, and use special tools to remove any calcified deposits around the implant. He will check and adjust your bite to ensure that the implant is free from inappropriate biting force.

Seek treatment if you grind your teeth. This is a condition known as bruxism, that can cause great damage to real or artificial teeth.

Avoid eating habits that can damage your implant. Don’t chew on hard foods like ice and candy, which can crack your crowns. Avoid tobacco and caffeine products that can stain your teeth.

If you think you are a candidate for teeth implants or need more info, contact Dr. Ernie Soto in Plantation, Florida. Dr. Soto specializes in all forms of cosmetic, restorative, and general dentistry, and focuses on a pain-free approach. Call (954) 368-6264 to schedule an appointment.

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