Sometimes, patients lose a tooth in a traumatic accident. This could be during a sports game or a fall in the street, for instance. Unfortunately, traumatic injuries sometimes damage the bone that surrounds a tooth. If this happens and you were planning on installing a dental implant, you will have to wait and undergo a slightly different approach to your dental implant procedure. Read on to learn more.
Allow Your Jawbone to Heal First
If you have damaged your jawbone in an accident, you'll first have to allow your jawbone to heal before you do anything else. This should take about 6 weeks. Then your dentist can perform a CT scan to check the quality of the bone in the area where you wish to have an implant. If the bone has healed correctly and is strong enough, you go ahead with the dental implant surgery. But if you have lost some bone mass or the damage is too great, you'll need to undergo a bone graft before you can get your dental implant.
Undergo a Bone Graft If the Damage Is Severe
To ensure that you have enough bone to support a dental implant, a dental surgeon will place a bone graft into the socket where you wish to have the dental implant placed. After that, you'll then need to wait several months for the bone graft to heal. During the healing process, you'll need to gargle salt water three to four times a day to keep infection at bay. You also need to avoid damaging the area. This means staying away from hard foods like nuts and boiled candy.
Place the Dental Implant Once the Area Heals
As long as the area heals well, your dentist can then place a dental implant. The healing process for a dental implant is anywhere from six weeks to six months. However, if you are a smoker, then you need to be aware that smoking impedes the healing process since it reduces blood flow. In addition, smoking can affect bone mass too. As such, try to quit smoking, at least until your dental implant has healed fully.
If you have been in a traumatic accident, don't worry, you can still get a dental implant. The only downside is that with a bone graft, the healing process could take much longer than usual.
To learn more about dental implants, contact a dentist near you today.