After implant placement
After the procedure there will be some discomfort and swelling. The degree of swelling will depend on the number of implants placed and whether or not additional surgical procedures were carried out. Occasionally along with the swelling there may also be light bruising of the skin which will fade over a week. If you are a smoker or have a pre-existing medical condition which affects soft tissue healing, the amount of swelling may be greater. Smoking also greatly increases the chances of implant failure in the early stages and also long term. The gum tissue in the region where the implants have been placed may change appearance or colour and take on a white appearance for a short time (normally two weeks) after surgery.
After 6 to 10 days, once the soft tissue has healed sufficiently, the stitches are removed. If dissolving stitches have been used this may not be necessary. During this period it may not be possible to wear dentures. After this stage the implants will be left undisturbed for at least three months to attach to the jaw bone. During this period the top of the implant may show through the gum slightly and metal may become visible. Although this is normally no cause for concern, should it occur please contact the practice to have the area checked.
MAKING THE NEW TEETH
After a 3-6 month period a second surgical procedure may be necessary to expose the implants and check for firm bony attachment. In the event that an implant has failed to take it can simply be removed, as it will not be attached to bone. Once the implants have been uncovered and are firm, a post or abutment will be connected which may be used to support a provisional denture or bridge. This intermediate stage will last approximately two months allowing time for the gums to settle and form a tight attachment to the implant abutment. During this time the abutment may become visible as the gum shrinks slightly exposing the underlying metal. The final teeth will be made to cover as much of the exposed metallic areas possible improving the final appearance. Impressions will be necessary prior to construction of the final restoration.