If your dentist has recommended you get a dental implant, you're likely wondering what it will be like living with one. Our Lethbridge periodontists explain some of what you can expect day-to-day.
What will my daily life be like after dental implant placement?
For the first 24 hours or so after your dental implant procedure, your dentist will likely recommend that you eat a diet of soft foods. In some cases, you might need to stick to soft foods for up to 7 days after the operation, so keep lots of these foods on hand.
Good go-to staples include mashed potatoes, smoothies, applesauce, meal replacement drinks, smooth soups (not chunky), homemade broth and bouillon, juices and protein drinks. Avoid citrus fruits, which can damage tooth enamel.
Follow your dentist's instructions and you'll increase your chances for a smooth recovery.
Dental Implants Function Like Natural Teeth
If, like many people, you enjoy foods like spare ribs, steaks, corn on the cob, apples, tacos, nuts and other culinary delights, good news: with a dental implant, you'll be able to continue to enjoy these things – and speak and smile as you would with your natural teeth. That's because dental implants are designed to replace tooth roots and chew through these hard-to-chew foods, much like your natural teeth.
Implants are placed below your gumline and fuse with your jawbone. So, once your tissues in the affected area have had time to heal, you won't need to worry about your dental implant falling out since the titanium is anchored to the jawbone. The tooth replacement (a crown, bridge or denture) will be placed atop the implant to act as the biting surface of the tooth.
A Casual Observer Will Be Hard-Pressed to Tell You Have a Dental Implant
If you're considering a dental implant to replace missing teeth, you might be concerned about whether people will be able to tell you have an artificial tooth. You'll be able to smile, speak, chew and do everything you'd usually do with your natural teeth, and a casual observer will be hard-pressed to spot that you have a dental implant.
The tooth replacement that will sit on top of the abutment will closely resemble your natural teeth and be matched to the shade of your existing teeth in order to create a uniform aesthetic.
How to Care for a Dental Implant
Of course, an excellent oral hygiene routine will still be necessary once your dental implant has been placed. Brushing your teeth at least two times a day and flossing at least once per day will keep plaque from building up and causing gingivitis. You should also continue to see your dentist for regular checkups and cleanings.
Our team can offer advice on how to care for your dental implant and address any questions or concerns you may have.