Just before Christmas I knocked out two of my front teeth whilst playing football and as you can imagine the difference in my smile was pretty noticeable! I decided that the best option to replace my teeth was to get some dental implants and given that I hadn’t been to the dentist in quite some time, I had to find somewhere new. As it happens there are plenty of specialists in my area and when it comes to dental implants Surrey is awash with specialists in this field. I thought I’d speak a little about my experience with you so that you know what to expect should you decide on dental implants.
What Are They?
Dental implants are basically false teeth which are attached directly to your jawbone. There are various reasons why you may opt for this surgery, it may be as a result of an accident like mine, or perhaps the dentist has been forced to extract your old tooth because of decay or disease. There are two types of implants you can get, the first is a single tooth screwed directly into the jawbone and the second is a metal bracket which is attached to the jawbone which then houses the tooth or teeth which are to be implanted.
Prior to the operation you will talk through the process with your dentist and you will also have a CT scan so that they can highlight exactly where the tooth will be going. This CT scan will also be able to show the dentist whether or not you have sufficient bone in the jaw, which is required in order for the implant to stay fixed.
I decided to be put to sleep for this surgery because I just loathe any kind of treatment like this, but you can opt for local anesthetic when you have your implants put in. I have friends who did this under local anesthetic and they said that other than it being uncomfortable, they felt no pain at all during the implant procedure. For me I simply breathed in the air and then fell asleep, before waking up to a dull ache in the mouth.
The entire recovery process is actually between 3-6 months but you will only feel pain and swelling for the initial few weeks. Your doctor or dentist will have a solid plan for your recovery which will involve taking pain relief to help you during the initial recovery. For me the only times that I felt pain was first thing in the morning and whenever the pain relief wore off. The biggest thing that you will struggle with is the uncomfortable feeling in your mouth, and you will have to make sure that you are careful in terms of your food intake, soups, smoothies and yoghurts will probably be your life for the first few days. Once you get past the 7 day mark you will feel infinitely better, and the swelling will have reduced entirely.
This sounds like a horrible surgery but you really shouldn’t worry, the dentists know what they are doing and you will be absolutely fine.