Dental implants have become a favored — if not the favored — tooth replacement option. They generally last for as long as a patient lives, and they look just like natural teeth. But even knowing these things, most patients are still slightly apprehensive about having dental implants put into place. This apprehension comes from uncertainty as to how their speech, eating, and tooth care needs will change after getting implants. This article seeks to put that uncertainty to rest.
Speech After Dental Implants
You'll be pleased to hear that dental implants do not have a negative impact on speech. In fact, the opposite is usually true. If you have been living with a missing tooth for a while, having an implant added to that space will likely make it easier to place your tongue where it's needed to make certain sounds. This is especially true if the missing tooth is an incisor.
Of course, your speech might be a little funny for the first few days after surgery when your mouth is a bit painful and your gums are swollen. But the post-surgery lisp will wear off quickly.
Eating After Dental Implants
Once you are fully healed from dental implant surgery, there will be few to no restrictions on what you can and cannot eat. You will be asked to avoid eating really hard items like ice cubes and nutshells, but really, you should avoid eating these things even if you don't have implants. They could crack a normal, natural tooth, too.
Right after implant surgery, you will need to stick to soft foods to allow your mouth time to heal. However, this is a short time period, usually less than two weeks, and then you can return to eating normal food as soon as you feel comfortable doing so.
Tooth Care After Dental Implants
Some patients envision themselves having their dental implant professionally polished or refinished. The good news is that this isn't a service you need. You care for a dental implant just like you would care for a real tooth. Brush it. Floss around it. That's really all there is to it. You can't get a cavity in an implant, but you can develop gum disease around it if you do not keep the area clean.
Patients are usually happy to find that their speech, eating, and tooth care needs change very little after getting a dental implant. So take a deep breath and approach your surgery with confidence.