Stage 1 Surgery
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During the first operation, implants will be placed into the
jawbone, underneath the gum tissues. They will stay "buried"
under the gums for a healing time-from 3 to 6 months. (In the
upper jaw and back part of the lower jaw, complete healing
usually takes longer.)
Some implants are not buried; they are left uncovered during
the healing period. With these implants a second surgery is not
required, but a healing period of 3 to 4 months is still
The day after surgery, you can expect some swelling of the
gums in the area of implant placement. You may also be able to
feel the sutures (stitches) that were used to close the
incision. The gums may be discolored as they start to heal. When
you had teeth removed before, you probably remember the pain
experienced; the immediate discomfort at this time will likely
be similar or less pronounced. Medication can be used to lessen
Within 4 to 5 days, the initial swelling will be gone and the
surgical area will be less painful. The denture that you may
have been wearing can be lined with a soft material and placed
back in your mouth to improve your speech and appearance. You
should be able to return to work or resume normal daily
activities comfortably by this time.
If the stitches closing the wound have not come out on their
own by this time, your dentist or surgeon may remove them after
10 to 14 days.
You must not use your denture to chew solid foods until your
dentist says you can do so. The ability of your mouth to
successfully accept implants depends on their not being
disturbed during the first 4 to 6 weeks after surgery. A soft
diet must be continued during this period.