If you are thinking about replacing a missing or damaged tooth, you should know that Dr. Robert Harrell and his outstanding team at Harrell Dental Implant Center believe an educated patient is the best patient. That’s why preparing you with the knowledge of what to expect before, during and after your dental implant surgery is a crucial part of their practice.
Taking time to discuss the findings of your comprehensive oral exam will ensure that a complete treatment outline can be shared with you prior to surgery. Arming you with the knowledge to confidently handle your after care is another thing the Implant Center team is equally passionate about.
You may not realize that dental implants have been around in one form or another far longer than you think.
In 600 AD, Mayans replaced missing teeth by implanting stones, seashells, and jade into the jaw, and according to archaeologists, some of these primitive dental implants actually fused to the jaw. In more modern history, 1952, an orthopaedic surgeon named Professor Per-Ingvar Branemark tried to remove a titanium fixture he had installed into a patient’s jaw to study bone healing. The titanium had fused to the bone, and now we know this natural phenomenon as osseointegration. Branemark continued his work with osseointegration, implanting titanium implants into a patient who had severe jaw deformities and was, as a result, missing teeth. The patient, Gosta Larsson, was the first to receive titanium dental implants. Additional details at Doc Shop . com
Gauze Is a Vital Component of Your Aftercare
When patients are educated on leaving their gauze in place until adequate blood clotting occurs, they drastically minimize their risk of developing dry socket. The clotting blood forms a barrier to protect oral tissues from bacteria and facilitates the healing process. Many people are inclined to remove their post-procedure gauze as quickly as possible. However, as tempting as it may be, unpacking your mouth too soon is actually one of the worst things you can do. The gauze needs to remain in place long enough for a clot to securely form. When you arrive to your procedure with an understanding of the key details, it is much easier to cope with the aftermath and ensure a good outcome.
A certain amount of bleeding is to be expected following surgery. Slight bleeding, oozing, or redness in the saliva is not uncommon, even for a few days after surgery. Excessive bleeding may be controlled by first gently rinsing or wiping any old clots from your mouth, then placing a gauze pad directly over the site of surgery and biting firmly with constant pressure for thirty minutes. The gauze can be folded or two can be combined if needed. Repeat this if it doesn’t work the first thirty minutes. If bleeding continues, bite on a moistened tea bag for thirty minutes, again, being sure to place it directly over the surgery site (typically, the tooth socket) with firm, constant pressure. The tannic acid in the tea bag helps to form a clot by contracting bleeding vessels. Avoid hot liquids and foods. It is also important to sit upright, remain calm and limit your physical activity.
The normal swelling that is expected is usually proportional to the surgery involved. A certain amount is almost always to be expected. Swelling around the mouth, cheeks, eyes and sides of the face is not uncommon. This is the body’s normal reaction to surgery and eventual repair. The swelling may not become apparent until the day following surgery and will not reach its maximum until 2-3 days post-operatively. However, the swelling may be minimized by the immediate use of ice packs, before it occurs. Two small, plastic bags filled with ice, or ice packs should be applied to the sides of the face where surgery was performed. The ice packs should be used on a schedule of 20 minutes on and 5 minutes off, continuously, as long as the patient is not sleeping or eating. After 24 hours, ice generally has no beneficial effect on the swelling, but many patients find it to be a helpful adjunct in reducing pain. If swelling or jaw stiffness has persisted for several days, there is no cause for alarm. This is a normal reaction to surgery. Thirty-six hours following surgery, the application of moist heat to the sides of the face can be beneficial in reducing the size of the swelling.