Dental Implants Are Coming Your Way: Know What To Do To Prepare
Dental implants, it's safe to say, have revolutionized how dental patients cope with a lost tooth. In years past, the only way to fill that unattractive gap in a smile was a partial denture or bridgework.
However, dental implants present patients with a worry-free and natural-looking way to perfect a smile. Implants can last many years, they don't have to be removed for cleaning, and they don't require any special care. Dental implants, though, must be surgically implanted, and that can require dental patients to take some extra steps to get ready. Learn more about the dental implant process by reading below.
Have your bone structure evaluated
Since dental implants must be deeply inserted, your dentist will check your bone density before anything else can be done. Dental implants consist of a post that is sunk into the gums and the jawbone below the gums. That is what makes traditional implants so long-lasting.
However, some patients have depleted bone mass in the jaw area. That can occur from aging, medication, smoking, medical conditions, and more. You might be disappointed when your dentist informs you that your bones are not strong enough to support an implant. However, you have two options that can result in a successful implantation
- You can have a bone graft procedure. This outpatient surgery adds bone material to your jaw. The downside is not only the extra surgery, but you must wait a few extra months to allow things to heal and the bones to fully graft.
- The other option involves having a mini-implant procedure. Known by various names, this implant procedure works with the bone material you already have. The post, for instance, is shorter and doesn't require a lot of bone mass. However, mini-implants may not be as stable as traditional ones might be.
Prepare for your surgery the next day
Once you are given the go-ahead for your implant surgery, your dentist will provide you with a list of instructions to follow. Each dentist is different, but some of these instructions likely include:
- You will be given an anesthetic that will wear off when the procedure is over. You won't be allowed to drive, though, so bring someone with you to the appointment.
- You will probably be told not to eat or drink anything after a certain time the night before the procedure. Ask about taking your usual prescribed medications.
- Plan to take it easy at home for several days.
- Stock up on soft but nutritious foods
Speak to your dentist to find out more about implant dentistry.