Although many dentists have been replacing missing teeth with prosthetic replacements supported by dental implants for decades, patients are still relatively unfamiliar with the details of this treatment option. 

Patients missing two or more teeth may need to enhance their smiles with the implantation of several dental implants, which can be even more confusing. To dispel all uncertainties about dental implant implantation:

Read this week’s blog from Dental Center 4Smile to learn everything about dental implantation:

How long does the implantation of dental implants take?
The duration of dental implant implantation depends on several factors:
  • The experience of the dentist performing the implantation.
  • The condition of the patient’s bone.
  • The number of dental implants that need to be implanted.

At Dental Center 4Smile, Dr. Ivan Antolković, DMD, on average, spends 10 to 15 minutes per dental implant that needs to be implanted.
Of course, the time for placing a dental implant also includes the time for anesthesia to take effect and the time required to suture the gum above the dental implant.

Does the  implantation of dental implants hurt?

The  implantation of dental implants is a completely painless oral surgical procedure. Patients are often surprised to realize that it is indeed true.
During the implantation of dental implants, there may be 2 discomforts (not necessarily painful):

  • The needle prick from anesthesia.
  • Mild pressure during bone drilling (feels like someone is pressing a finger against your jaw).

In any case, we can say that the implantation of dental implants is the least painful oral surgical procedure because, even on the same day after the implantation, patients usually do not feel any pain.

What to expect after the  implantation of dental implants?

The day before or on the day of dental implant implantation, Dr. Ivan Antolković, a dentist in Zagreb, will prescribe an antibiotic that needs to be taken in full. The antibiotic is used to prevent any infections.

In addition, Dr. Ivan Antolković will recommend taking some pain reliever, such as ibuprofen, on the evening immediately after the procedure. Not so much for pain but to prevent significant swelling.

On the third or fourth day after the dental implants implantation (especially when implanting a larger number of dental implants), it is very likely that swelling will appear on the face. They are completely painless, only aesthetically uncomfortable.

Swelling usually lasts 2 days and then disappears completely. If it does not last longer than stated, swelling is a completely normal side effect of the oral surgical procedure of dental implant implantation

If you feel slight numbness in the gums for the first 2 to 3 days, that is normal. It’s important to pay attention if it doesn’t last too long. If it lasts longer, consult your dentist.

It’s important to know what to expect, what is normal, and mentally prepare for doing something good for your oral health.

Dr. Ivan Antolković, DMD & Dental Assistant Doris Bistrički

Dr. Ivan Antolković, DMD & Dental Assistant Doris Bistrički

What happens with the stitches at the site of dental implant implantation?

There are several types of stitches used in oral surgical procedures:

  • Non-absorbable stitches – need to be removed.
  • Absorbable stitches that degrade within 2 to 3 weeks after stitching.
  • Absorbable stitches that degrade within 6 to 8 weeks after stitching

Dr. Ivan Antolković most often uses two types of stitching:

  • Non-absorbable stitches are used on patients living in the Zagreb area who can come for follow-up and stitch removal.
  • While absorbable stitches that degrade within 6 to 8 weeks after stitching are most commonly used for patients living outside Zagreb or outside Croatia. This saves them from additional travel. Instead, patients living outside of Croatia will need to return to the clinic after 3-6 months for placing a dental crown on an implant which should successfully osseointegrate by that time. For upper jaw, osseointegration takes up to 6 months, while for lower jaw it takes about 3 months to successfully complete.

In any case, after completing the dental implant implantation treatment, Dr. Antolković will provide you with all the necessary instructions, and if necessary, schedule a date for stitch removal.

Stitch removal is completely painless! Anesthesia is usually not needed.

How to maintain oral hygiene immediately after the implantation of dental implants?

After the  implantation of dental implants, it is necessary to maintain regular oral hygiene with a few notes:

  • No fear of brushing; it is better to use a brush with soft bristles.
  • Use an oral flosser/dental shower/waterpik.
  • Avoid alcohol and tobacco as they can affect the healing and osseointegration of dental implants.

And finally, a question we often get from patients who, despite all instructions, are very afraid of any dental procedures:

Can general anesthesia be used for the implantation of dental implants?

Realistically, yes, but general anesthesia requires the presence of an anesthesiologist and all necessary preparations and protocols for general anesthesia, making the dental implant implantation procedure much more demanding in terms of time, finances, and postoperative recovery.

Therefore, at Dental Center 4Smile, for those truly apprehensive, Dr. Antolković uses premedication that relaxes the patient and general anesthesia is not necessary!