Dental implant surgery has come a long way over the years. Today, implant surgeries are routinely performed with local anesthesia and a sedative. Patients tend to recover well, and most implants last a lifetime. Knowing these things can help keep you confident during your dental implant procedure. However, there are still some things that you may not expect. Don't let the following aspects of the procedure unnerve you; they are normal.
Your dentist will take x-rays
Your dentist may want you to come in for x-rays a few days before your implant procedure. This does not mean anything is wrong. Dentists need to know where your tooth roots are located and what condition your jaw bone is in prior to implant surgery. X-rays help determine these things. The x-rays will only take a few minutes, and your dentist can review the results quickly.
You will be numb for a while
Dental implant surgery takes longer than filling a cavity, and it also involves work a bit "deeper" in your mouth tissue. So, to ensure you are numb, your dentist will often inject the anesthetic directly in or around a nerve. This will cause the anesthetic to be effective for longer. If it has been a few hours since your implant surgery and you're still very numb, don't be alarmed. The anesthetic will wear off in time.
You will have stitches
You might be surprised to discover that you have stitches in your gums after implant surgery. Patients often expect to walk out with a whole new tooth. But the first stage of surgery is simply to have the implant itself inserted into your jawbone. The gums are then stitched to give the jaw bone time to heal. Your dentist will add the visible, crown portion of the tooth later on.
You may be able to eat pretty comfortably
Patients often expect to eat soft foods for weeks after implant surgery, and they're surprised how quickly they are able to go back to chewable foods. Since the implant is below the gumline, it's not as painful as you might expect as long as you don't bite down hard in that area. Ease your way back into eating normal food, but don't be surprised if you're back to normal sooner than expected.
If you have any remaining questions about dental implant surgery, ask your dentist. They can tell you what aspects previous patients have found the most surprising.