What Should I Expect After Getting Dental Implants? | Robina Town Dental
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What Should I Expect After Getting Dental Implants?

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Whether you need to replace a single tooth, multiple teeth or all of your teeth, dental implants are considered the next best thing to natural teeth. The implants themselves can last a lifetime, and the replacement teeth attached can last for many years, depending on how well you care for them.

But as with any treatment, it’s important to have an idea of what to expect after getting dental implants, both in the short term and the long term. If you’re thinking about dental implants in the Gold Coast, our dentists at Robina Town Dental will give you all the information you need about dental implant risks, recovery and prices so you can make a fully informed decision.

Book an implant consultation at our Gold Coast clinic today and you’ll save $150 on the cost of the treatment.

What happens when dental implants are placed?

Placing dental implants is a minor surgical procedure that should only be performed by a qualified and experienced professional. Detailed examination and planning are needed beforehand to determine whether you are eligible for implants and to plan the ideal position of the implants in your jaw.

During the procedure, your dentist will make one or more small incisions in your gum, depending on how many teeth are being replaced, and carefully guide the titanium implant or implants into your jaw bone. The procedure is carried out under local anaesthesia or other sedation, so you won’t feel pain.

How soon can my new teeth be placed?

In most cases, a temporary bridge will be placed over implants to protect them and restore the function of your bite while your mouth and jaw heal. It can take anywhere from 2–6 months for the jaw bone to grow around the implant and hold it securely in place, after which your permanent bridge may be fitted.

For some types of implant treatments, such as All-On-4® implants replacing a whole arch of teeth, your permanent bridge may be fitted in a number of days. Your dentist will make sure you have a clear understanding of your recovery timeline.

How long should I rest after implant surgery?

It’s important to take it easy for a few days after your surgery. Many people are able to resume work or other activities the following day, but you should avoid too much exertion.

Recovery can take longer if you’re having a more complex implant treatment or if other types of sedation are used. Intravenous (IV) sedation can remain in the body for up to 24 hours, while general anaesthesia can take 48 hours, and you shouldn’t drive or operate machinery during this time.

Are dental implants painful?

Having dental implants placed shouldn’t be any more painful than a filling or other dental treatment, as local anaesthesia will be used to numb your mouth in the area being treated. Once the sedation wears off, you may feel soreness for the first 72 hours, which can be eased by taking over-the-counter pain relief.

Some people experience swelling and bruising in the first few days after implant surgery. Regularly placing a cold compress or ice pack over the outside of your mouth in the swollen area could help it to reduce.

Should I rinse my mouth after dental implant surgery?

It’s important to keep your mouth clean after implants are first fitted to lower your risk of infection. Your dentist may recommend rinsing your mouth with warm salt water after meals or using a prescribed mouthwash following their instructions.
You should avoid touching the implant site with your fingers or poking it with your tongue while it’s healing.

What can I eat after getting dental implants?

Unlike dentures, dental implants don’t restrict the types of foods you can eat in the long term. However, it is recommended to only eat soft foods in the first week after your treatment, as this avoids putting too much strain on your jaw and dislodging implants before they’ve had a chance to bond.

You should also avoid very hot or very cold food and drinks in the first 24 hours after surgery. You should also avoid using straws, as this can increase pressure in your mouth, and avoid alcohol for at least two weeks.

What is the success rate of dental implants?

Dental implants have a high survival rate of 90–95% over 10 years when the procedure is carried out by a skilled practitioner [1]. An implant can fail if it doesn’t fuse adequately with the jaw bone and needs to be removed. The procedure may be tried again after a healing period of several months.

The risk of implants failing depends on your suitability for treatment, how well you care for your implants and your oral health, and other factors. You will generally be a good candidate for dental implants if:

  • You have a fully-grown jaw that’s large enough to support implants, or you’re eligible for a bone graft
  • You have good oral health
  • You don’t have a health condition that affects healing
  • You don’t smoke, or are prepared to quit

Implant failure is more likely if you smoke or don’t maintain good oral hygiene to prevent problems like gum disease. To find out whether you may be suitable for dental implants, call our team today on 07 5575 9100 to book an initial consultation and assessment.

What complications are associated with dental implants?

Although the risk of complications from implant surgery is low, your dentist will make sure you know the possible risks before you agree to the treatment.

If the implant site isn’t kept clean in the days following surgery, bacteria may enter and infect the gum, leading to a condition called peri-implantitis. It’s important to see a dentist if you have unexpected swelling or other possible signs of an infection. Peri-implantitis can normally be treated with a course of antibiotics.

Other complications of dental implants can include:

  • Throbbing pain after surgery
  • Soreness or swelling that lasts longer than 10 days
  • Bleeding that doesn’t stop after 30 minutes when pressure is applied
  • Numbness after anaesthesia wears off
  • Adverse reaction to anaesthetic or sedatives
  • Implant feeling loose, which could mean it’s failed to integrate with the jaw

If you have any unexpected symptoms after implants are placed, contact your dental clinic to make an appointment with an emergency dentist.

How to care for your dental implants

An implant bridge doesn’t have special care requirements like dentures, but it’s important to keep your replacement teeth clean to prevent the build-up of bacteria that can cause problems like gum disease. This includes:

  • Brushing any natural and replacement teeth at least twice a day and flossing once daily
  • Following a healthy, balanced diet and avoiding too much sugar that feeds bacteria in plaque
  • Not smoking and avoiding excessive alcohol
  • Visiting your dentist once or twice a year for a routine check-up and clean, based on their recommendation

When does an implant bridge need to be replaced?

While titanium dental implants can last a lifetime, the bridge attached to the implants will usually need replacing after a number of years, whether this is due to accidental damage or normal wear and tear.

How long a bridge lasts depends on the materials it’s made from and how well it’s cared for, but on average they can last from 5–15 years.

What are the alternatives to dental implants?

If you’re not suitable for dental implants, or you’d prefer another treatment, your dentist will make sure you know all of your options for replacing individual or multiple teeth. The main options are a fixed dental bridge or removable dentures.

  • Dental bridges are prosthetic teeth that ‘bridge’ gaps in your smile where one or more teeth are lost. A bridge that isn’t supported by an implant may be supported by the surrounding teeth. This involves fitting crowns over the teeth on either side, or sometimes metal clasps in the case of front teeth. A bridge can usually last for several years and can only be removed by a dentist.
  • Dentures may replace a single tooth, multiple teeth or a full arch of teeth. Full dentures attach to the mouth by suction, while partial dentures attach to the neighbouring teeth using clasps. Dentures should be removed at night and require special cleaning to keep them clean and hygienic. Dentures can also attach to implants for improved stability and biting force.

While an unsupported bridge or denture can avoid the need for minor surgery, they don’t offer the same level of stability or support for the jaw that can help prevent bone deterioration.

Find out more about dental implants Gold Coast

If you want to know more about our dental implant options at Robina Town Dental or other options for replacing failing or missing teeth, call our friendly team today on 07 5575 9100 or book an appointment online.

Our dental clinic is located in Robina Town Centre and we welcome patients from all local suburbs including Burleigh Heads, Mudgeeraba, Miami, Varsity Lakes, Burleigh Waters, Merrimac, Mermaid Waters, Worongary and Clear Island Waters.


[1] Raikar S, Talukdar P, Kumari S, Panda SK, Oommen VM, Prasad A. Factors Affecting the Survival Rate of Dental Implants: A Retrospective Study. J Int Soc Prev Community Dent. 2017 Nov-Dec;7(6):351-355. doi: 10.4103/jispcd.JISPCD_380_17. Epub 2017 Dec 29. PMID: 29387619; PMCID: PMC5774056.

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