How Should Patients Prepare for Dental Implant Surgery?
Retaining your natural teeth is almost always preferred over tooth extraction, but there are some situations when extraction can’t be avoided. Other times, the tooth may already be missing due to trauma or natural causes. Whenever a person has a missing tooth or is facing extraction of a tooth due to severe damage or compromise, the placement of a dental implant can help to maintain important oral structures and restore the function and appearance of the patient’s smile. Here, oral surgeon Dr. Leonel Perez and prosthodontist Dr. Harshit Aggarwal from the Center for Dentofacial Aesthetics in Annandale, VA discuss what to expect during and after dental implant surgery and how patients should prepare for the procedure to ensure the smoothest, most comfortable, and most successful experience possible.
What is the process of getting dental implants?
Dental implants are titanium screws, or posts, that are surgically inserted into a patient’s jaw in place of a missing tooth root. Once the screw has fully integrated with the bone, a custom restoration — like a crown or bridge — is affixed to the implant to provide a strong, natural-looking, functional new tooth.
The process of dental implant surgery begins by ensuring the patient’s mouth is healthy and free of infection. If a damaged tooth is still present, it will first be extracted. In some cases, implant placement can be performed the same day as tooth extraction, while other times, patients may need to wait for several weeks after extraction before the implant can be placed. On the day of dental implant surgery, a local anesthetic is used to numb the mouth, and sedation may be offered if necessary. An incision is then created in the gum, and the area is prepared for implant placement. The post is then inserted beneath the gum via the incision, and the incision is closed. Over the course of several months, the titanium screw will integrate with the jawbone. Once this has fully occurred, the patient will return to have their custom restoration attached to the implant with an abutment.
Is there anything I need to do before dental implant surgery?
To set yourself up for the smoothest experience and most successful outcome for your dental implant procedure, use these helpful instructions on dental implant preparation:
- Schedule a dental exam and cleaning to ensure your mouth is healthy, infection-free, and ready for the procedure
- Line up a trusted friend or loved one to drive you to and from your procedure
- Book 1 – 2 days off of work to rest and recover
- Stock up on soft foods and healthy snack options, like protein shakes and oatmeal
- Discuss your current medications with your doctor (note: patients should never adjust or stop their medications without medical clearance)
- Obtain any necessary prescriptions for your post-treatment period
During your initial consultation for dental implant surgery in Annandale, VA, our knowledgeable team will discuss dental implant preparation instructions in greater detail to ensure you are comfortable, confident, and ready for your procedure.
Restore the beautiful, healthy smile you deserve with dental implants in Annandale, VA
Whether you have a severely damaged tooth or have already lost a tooth/teeth, dental implants may be beneficial for restoring the form and function of your smile and preventing further damage to your oral tissues and structures. To learn more about your options for dental implant surgery, call the Center for Dentofacial Aesthetics to schedule your consultation with Annandale, VA oral surgeon Dr. Leonel Perez and prosthodontist Dr. Harshit Aggarwal today.