Are you getting dental implants? Congratulations—you’re taking the first step towards restoring your strong and healthy smile! It won’t be long before you stop seeing the gaps left by missing teeth in the mirror, struggle to bite and chew, or feel self-conscious every time you talk and smile. With dental implants, you’ll get new and improved teeth that look and function like natural ones.
But first, you need to know what you’re going in for. The success of your dental implant procedure starts with careful preparation: talking to your periodontist to make sure you’re a good candidate and following their instructions.
Preparing for your dental implant procedure also helps address your concerns and anxieties, especially if you aren’t too fond of dental treatments. But as you’ll soon find out, getting dental implants doesn’t have to be scary. Thanks to their lifelong benefits, every step is worth the entire procedure.
How to Prepare for Your Dental Implant Procedure
Here’s a quick guide to preparing for your dental implant procedure, and knowing what to expect. From initial consultation and drawing up your treatment plan to going in for the surgery, see how you can ensure the success of your dental implants:
- Comprehensive dental exam
In the initial consultation, your periodontist will tell you more about dental implants and how they work, giving you an overview of the procedure and its benefits. But before undergoing the treatment, your periodontist needs to confirm that you’re a good candidate. To determine this, you’ll undergo a comprehensive dental exam.
A dental exam typically consists of reviewing your dental and overall medical history, an in-depth visual exam, and taking x-rays. Periodontists use this time to review your case to make sure that dental implants are right for you. They’ll assess these factors:
- The condition of your jawbone, to determine the degree of bone loss and deterioration, as well as the suitable implant type
- Your full medical history, to determine any underlying conditions and prevent complications
- Any allergies, particularly to anesthesia and dental supplies
- Any existing medical conditions that affect your immune system or potentially interact with anesthetics, in order to prescribe required antibiotics and prevent ill reactions to drug combinations.
- Develop your treatment plan
Every patient is unique and has specific dental needs. Your periodontist understands this and creates a personalized treatment plan for your dental implant procedure.
They will consider the condition of your teeth and jawbone, particularly, the number of missing teeth to be replaced, the current bone density of your jawbone and any alterations to your facial structure as a result. These will inform the type of implant you need, and your periodontist’s approach to preserving healthy jawbone and improving your overall facial structure.
- Sedation and pain management
A dental implant procedure is a type of oral surgery. To ensure your comfort and the success of the procedure, your periodontist will present various options for sedation and pain management, and recommend the best one for you.
Typically, your anesthetic options are local anesthesia and general anesthesia. As its name implies, “local” means numbing your jaw, although you will likely remain awake and alert throughout the procedure. Meanwhile, if you are placed under general anesthesia and sedation, you will be asleep throughout, possibly needing lots of rest afterwards due to lingering drowsiness. General anesthesia is usually recommended for extensive procedures, as well as if you typically experience anxiety during dental treatments.
In addition to pain management, your periodontist may also prescribe the use of antibiotics before and after the dental implant surgery.
- Prepare your body
On the day of your dental implant surgery, you’ll need to follow a few steps to prepare for the procedure. Make sure to follow your periodontist’s instructions to ensure a smooth and successful surgery.
- Fasting: If you are being sedated for your implant surgery, you will need to limit food and drink intake prior to your scheduled dental implant procedure. Generally, the requirement is to fast for at least 12 hours. This means no food or drink for the 12 hours preceding your surgery.
- Food and drink: Your periodontist may also recommend certain food and drinks you can eat prior to fasting, or advise you against consuming some items.
- Clothing: For your ease and comfort, it’s best to wear loose and comfortable clothing.
Along with these basic preparations, your periodontist will also inform you of certain steps that may need to be taken to prepare your jawbone.
In particular, if your jawbone has severely deteriorated and is unable to support the implant posts, you may need to undergo an additional procedure, such as a bone graft, smoothing or reshaping of the jaw, extraction of impacted teeth, or removal of some bone from the jaw. Once your jaw heals, your periodontist can proceed with the actual dental implant procedure.
- Prepare for dental implant aftercare
Undergoing a dental implant procedure requires recovery time. This means taking time off from work and your normal schedule and preparing for aftercare requirements. Making these arrangements beforehand ensures a smooth recovery process, especially as you are likely to experience common side effects, like swelling and soreness.
Your periodontist will advise you of any necessary restrictions to your normal routine. Aside from taking time off from work, you will also need to take a break from exercise and other strenuous activities. As well, you will be provided with a list of pain medications and soft foods that you will need while recovering at home.
Prepare for Your Dental Implant Procedure at Periodontal Associates
Going in for your dental implant surgery in Mississauga? Our periodontists at Periodontal Associates are here to help you prepare. From the initial consultation to post-op care, we’ll provide all the information you need to ensure a smooth and successful procedure. We aim to provide a state-of-the-art experience: a warm and inviting clinic atmosphere, and your utmost ease and comfort, from the first visit to lifelong benefits from dental implants.
Got questions about your upcoming dental implant surgery? Contact Periodontal Associates in Mississauga today to learn more.