Dental Implant Surgery: Advanced Techniques for Minimized Discomfort and Reduced Recovery Time

Dr. Joe McIntyre and Dr. Dan Whiting perform precise dental implant surgery at their Bridgewater, VA practice. Before your treatment, they will carefully evaluate your jawbone health to determine your candidacy for dental implants and to begin planning your procedure. At Smiles for Life Dental Care, we use advanced imaging technology to design safe, effective, and fully customized treatments. During the surgery, your dentist will place one or more small posts in your jaw. Thanks to our careful planning and gentle methods, your procedure will involve minimal discomfort. After the surgery, your practitioner will monitor your recovery, and once healing is complete, he will attach your custom-made restoration.

Planning and Preparing for Dental Implant Surgery

If you are considering dental implants, we will schedule a thorough consultation with Dr. McIntyre or Dr. Whiting. At this appointment, your dentist will evaluate your jawbone and overall oral health to determine your candidacy for treatment.

Your jawbone volume is one of the most important considerations. If you have suffered bone recession due to long-term tooth loss, the implant posts may not have enough support. Your dentist will use x-rays and computed tomography (CT) scans to examine your jaw. If the images reveal significant tissue loss, he may recommend a bone graft. During this procedure, your doctor will build up your jaw using a sample of your own bone tissue, donor tissue, or a synthetic material. Once the new tissue has integrated with your jaw, you should have sufficient support for implants.

Because of our powerful local anesthetic and sedation, if needed, we can effectively minimize discomfort during implant surgery.

Dr. McIntyre or Dr. Whiting will also use our imaging technology to plan your implant surgery. Your dentist will find the healthiest and strongest parts of your jaw. Placing the implants in these areas, he can often minimize the need for bone grafting. In addition, he will determine which type of implants are right for you.

What to Expect During the Procedure

On the day of your implant surgery, Dr. McIntyre or Dr. Whiting will numb your gums and jawbone. In many cases, we will also provide deeper sedation to help you relax. Your dentist will first create small incisions in your gums. Through these openings, he will embed the implant posts in your jawbone. You may receive one implant or several, depending on your needs and the size of your restoration. Once your dentist is finished, he will close up the incisions with dissolvable stitches.

Because of our powerful local anesthetic, you will feel only a sensation of pressure during implant surgery. If you receive deeper sedation, you may not remember much of your procedure.

Graphic illustrating dental implant treatment timeline

Post-surgical Considerations and Recovery

Drs. McIntyre and Whiting use very gentle techniques. Therefore, you should enjoy a quick recovery with minimal discomfort. Nevertheless, you will typically experience some sensitivity immediately after surgery. Mild anti-inflammatories and ice packs can help to control this discomfort. You should also avoid spicy foods, as well as foods with small pieces, such as nuts and seeds.

Any discomfort should fade within a few days, but it will take four to six months for your jaw to fully heal from implant surgery. As you recover, the implants will integrate with your jaw, becoming permanently fixed in your mouth. Unless you receive a zirconia implant-supported bridge, we will typically provide a temporary restoration to repair your smile and improve your dental function. When your jaw has completely healed, Dr. McIntyre or Dr. Whiting will attach abutment pieces to each of the implants. Then he will affix your permanent, custom-made restoration.

“In two long procedures, Dr. McIntyre extracted my teeth, installed 10 implants and did some bone grafting. After each session (5-6 hours) I went home and took a nap after ice packing the areas and both times awoke to almost no pain at all.” Blake Rhodes

Contact Smiles for Life

Understanding what to expect during dental implant surgery is an important part of the treatment process. To learn more about dental implants and to schedule your pre-surgical consultation, contact Smiles for Life today.