There are few tooth replacement options as effective as implants and for good reason. Instead of simply resting on top of your gums, they are integrated with your existing oral structures, including your jaw and the gum and bone tissue. However, they are not considered a simple procedure by any means. Dentists need to have as much information as possible about your mouth and current oral health before they can recommend dental implants in Reston.
Before you have surgery, you’ll need to know how to prepare and what you should expect during the early planning stages.
The Planning Stage
The first step for dental implants requires a thorough dental examination. During this exam, X-rays will be taken to examine your jaw’s current bone width, height and volume. Having enough bone tissue is crucial to short- and long-term success of dental implants.
It’s also mandatory that you have healthy gum tissue. If you have gum disease, you risk the implants failing due to the gum tissue not healing around the implant properly. Since tobacco use is one of the leading causes of gum disease, you should not be smoking, chewing tobacco, using hookah pipes or consuming tobacco for any reason before or after surgery.
If you are taking any medications, especially blood thinners, make sure the dentist is aware of this and keeps these medications updated in your chart. If you regularly consume aspirin, omega-3 fish oils or vitamin C supplements, discontinue these prior to surgery.
Once the dentist has gathered a sufficient amount of information regarding your case, they can start building your treatment plan. This involves taking into careful consideration the number of teeth that need to be replaced and the number of implants that will be placed inside your jaw.
How to Prepare for Surgery
When it’s the day before your surgery date, making the right plans can make a big difference. Start by planning your meals ahead of time. Prepare softer meals like pasta, smoothies, soups and stews. Anything you don’t eat now can be stored for a few days in the fridge or for several weeks in the freezer. Since your gums will feel tender after surgery, it’s better to have meals planned ahead of time rather than go hungry or risk damaging your healing gums. Opt for protein-rich nutritional shakes and avoid foods that are acidic or spicy.
On top of meal planning, set aside three days after surgery to give yourself time to rest. While it’s possible for many people to return to work sooner, it’s better to be safe rather than sorry. If you plan on receiving sedation during surgery, you’ll need to fast for 4 to 12 hours prior. Make plans with a friend or family member to pick you up from the practice after surgery, particularly if you plan on using sedation. Dedicate a full 8 hours of rest the night before so you can be physically and mentally prepared.
With the right preparation, your dental implant procedure will be easy and straightforward. Schedule an appointment with an implant dentist in Reston to learn more!