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What to expect before dental implant surgery

As you may already know, dental implants are surgically placed in your jawbone, where they serve as the roots of missing teeth. Because the titanium in the implants fuses with your jawbone, the implants won't slip, make noise or cause bone damage the way fixed bridgework or dentures might. And the materials can't decay like your own teeth that support regular bridgework can.


If you are planning to get this procedure, here are the different steps that may take place:



The surgeon will perform a detailed exam of your mouth and review your x-rays or CT scans. Your health history will also be thoroughly reviewed.


This is not the time to overlook or omit details about your health. Understand that there are certain medical conditions that are contraindicated for implant placement. Maintaining your overall health is more important than a denture with implants.



Preparatory Procedures

Even if you lack adequate bone in crucial areas, it may be possible to have bone augmentation or grafting performed for implants to work. Understand that this is a separate procedure and it adds additional costs and healing time in advance of the denture implant procedure itself.


Discuss Anesthetic

Most surgical denture implant procedures can be performed using only local anesthetic. Some patients are not comfortable knowing what is going on and want to be “knocked out” for their own peace of mind. Sedation must be arranged in advance of any surgery because it changes the protocol. If you think you might want to be sedated, discuss it early.


No Guarantees

Bone grafting and implant placement are dependent on your body’s ability to accept, heal, and recover from treatment. By choosing to have dental implants, you believe that you will benefit from the procedure.


Although dental implants enjoy roughly a 95% success rate, there are cases where the treatment does not work as expected and the patient has problems or implant failure for no apparent reason. Therefore, the outcome of any surgery is without guarantee and the patient assumes the risk.


How Best to Prepare for Your Denture Implant Procedure?

Follow the Protocol

Your surgeon may prescribe a pre-operative regimen of antimicrobial mouth rinses, antibiotics, or other medications designed to make you more comfortable, minimize post-operative swelling and infection, and improve your chances of having a good surgical outcome.


Arrange your Schedule

Lighten your commitments and make time in your schedule for adequate rest to recover from surgery. Doing so will allow you the luxury of power-lounging should you not feel completely up to par.


Ask for Help

On the day of surgery, have someone drive you to and from the appointment. Also, arrange for help with daily activities that must continue such as child care or meal preparation for your family.


Plan your Diet

Before the dental procedure, prepare food that will be easy on the procedure site. For the first 48 to 72 hours after surgery, eat a diet of soft, nutritious foods. Baked fish, mashed potatoes, well-cooked vegetables, soups, and the like.


Follow-up Appointments

Your surgeon will want follow-up visits to assess your healing and remove sutures. Plan time for these appointments. They are important.


Dr. Armellini received her dental degree from the Central University of Venezuela. She received an MBA from the University of Michigan and embarked on a clinical fellowship in Implantology Prosthodontics at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto.


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