Dental implants have become a popular choice for people looking to replace damaged or missing teeth to restore their smile. Implants are surgically placed into the jaw and can support a wide range of prostheses to replace missing or damaged teeth. Over time, they bond with the surrounding bone and become a permanent part of the body. Once this happens they are strong enough to support a dental crown, bridge or even a full denture.
While dental implants offer patients a great many benefits, it’s understandable that many people feel anxious about the treatment. To ensure things run smoothly and go to plan with your dental implants, we’ve compiled several patient do’s and don’ts to be aware of before and after surgery.
Dental Implants Before and After Surgery – What You Should and Shouldn’t do
Let’s start by looking at what a patient will need to do before implant surgery.
Replacing missing teeth or a tooth with a dental implant requires a great deal of planning. For the patient, this means undergoing several examinations/tests to ensure that you are a suitable candidate. It also provides the surgeon with as much information as possible to minimise any risk during implant placement and to give the implant the best possible chance of success.
This is an important pre-operative test because the diagnosis of a systemic disease such as diabetes or hypertension could put you more at risk when getting a dental implant. These diseases can affect the implant procedure and in the event that an infection is found in your blood, treatment would need to be prioritised before considering you for dental implant surgery.
Dental implants can only replace missing teeth if you have good oral hygiene and no gum disease. Any tooth decay or cavities will have to be treated prior to undergoing dental implant surgery. Without treatment, gum disease can escalate to periodontitis which could damage the bone supporting your dental implant, causing it to fail.
Healthy and sufficient bone is critical to the implant procedure. When replacing missing teeth there needs to be sufficient bone to hold the implant firmly in place. If the x-ray pictures reveal that you have insufficient bone, then a bone graft may be necessary to supplement it. This will extend the duration of your implant treatment.
You will also need to have a CT scan which gives our dentist a 3D image of the jaw bone’s height, width, and length and provides a more accurate indication of the jaw bone’s exact depth.
It also shows the placement of your nerves, blood vessels, and sinuses to aid with planning and determines the exact position for the dental implant before surgery takes place.
Now let’s take a quick look at what the patient should not do before dental implant surgery
- If you’re having sedation to aid your surgery then do not eat or drink for 6 hours before the planned time of your dental implant surgery
- If you know that you are allergic to penicillin then don’t forget to inform the dentist and finally,
- If you’ve been told to take an antibiotic beforehand, then don’t forget to take it an hour before surgery
Many patients have concerns about the post-operative part of implant surgery so here is some advice on what to do and what not to do after dental implant surgery.
Do’s After Implant Surgery to Replace Missing Teeth
Be sure to follow the post-operative instructions given to you by our dentist. As an experienced medical professional he knows best and following the tips below will help your body to recover and heal properly.
- Take a complete rest on the day of your implant surgery. Your body needs time to recover. Do not exercise or do any strenuous activity. You should also avoid bending or lifting as this can cause increased pain or bleeding. Another top tip is to lie down with your head propped up with two or more pillows. This promotes a better flow of blood to the head while simultaneously reducing swelling to the mouth and face.
- Use ice packs on areas of facial swelling.
- Take pain medication at the time instructed by your dentist even if you’re not in pain. It’s easier to prevent pain than it is to treat it.
- Once any bleeding has stopped, eat soft foods only. We suggest liquids and soft food for the first 1-2 days following dental implants surgery. Foods such as mashed potato, yoghurt and soup are good choices and will give your body the energy it needs to heal properly.
- Avoid brushing the dental implant site but keep it clean by rinsing frequently with salt water.
What not to do after dental implants surgery to replace missing teeth
- Avoid hot foods or drinks until the numbness as worn off. Hot drinks can cause swelling to last longer.
- Do not drink with a straw as this can loosen blood clots and cause a painful condition known as dry socket
- Avoid hard crunchy foods for the first few weeks after getting a dental implant but be sure to include proteins, vitamins, and calcium in your diet.
- Avoid smoking. This can slow down the healing process or prevent it from happening altogether
That’s it – hopefully, this information about dental implants and what to do before and after surgery has helped put your mind at rest.
Are you considering dental implants to replace missing teeth?
The recovery period from dental implant surgery can take a little time but here at DDSS/DDII, we provide digital implants for our patients to replace missing teeth. The benefits are:
- Shorter surgery time with no sutures
- A more comfortable process with faster healing
- Great accuracy
- Fewer dental visits
Why not contact DDSS/DDII today to find out more about digital implants and how advanced dentistry can benefit you.