What to Expect When Getting Implants

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Dental implants are widely considered the best option for tooth replacement, offering a holistic solution that mimics natural teeth in appearance and function. They are the only permanent method available, preserving the integrity of your smile.

What to Expect from Surgery

The surgical procedure takes place in a few steps. Firstly, the designated area for the implant is numbered, and preparations are made for either oral or IV sedation. Then, the involved tooth or teeth are extracted, if not previously removed. Following this, if necessary, a small incision is made in the gums to expose the underlying jawbone area where the implant will be situated. Using specialized instruments, a socket is carefully created in the jawbone to accommodate the implant.

Once the implant is positioned securely within the socket, an abutment is attached to serve as a connection point between the implant and the artificial tooth. The gum tissue is then carefully closed, potentially requiring the placement of stitches. Finally, the artificial tooth, known as a crown, is affixed to the abutment, completing the surgical process.

It’s important to note that the specific details of the procedure may vary depending on individual patient factors and oral health considerations. Complex cases might involve additional steps, which could extend the overall duration of treatment. In such instances, multiple visits may be required, allowing adequate intervals for healing between each session.

Following the surgery, patients may experience temporary facial or gum swelling, as well as bruising. However, these discomforts can typically be managed with the use of ice packs.

Pre-Op Instructions

In order to prepare for your surgery and to ensure your safety, please follow these instructions:

  1. Do not eat or drink anything for 6 hours before your surgery. For your safety, we need you to have an empty stomach.
  2. Do not use any Cannabis products for at least 72 hours (three days) prior to surgery.

  3. Continue all medications prescribed by your physician. Do not stop any medication unless directed by your physician.

  4. Escorts must stay during surgery and to please have your adult escort take you directly home after the surgery.

  5. Dress comfortably. Please wear shoes that tie or boots, no slip on shoes. Please wear a short-sleeved shirt. If cold, a sweatshirt is ok, but remember the short-sleeved shirt underneath.

  6. Please do not wear necklaces, dangling earrings, or make-up on the day of surgery.

  7. Please do not wear contact lenses, wear glasses on the day of surgery.

Post-Op Instructions

  1. Immediately after surgery: Resting for the first one to two days will help begin your healing. Heavy physical activity can result in increased pain and prolong the healing time. Once you get home, rest and relax. Elevating your head, placing cold packs on your face and eating soft foods are important post-operative instructions to remember. Refraining from smoking will help the surgical sites heal better and can decrease post-operative pain.
  2. Pain: Most patients require pain medication for one or two days after their surgery. Narcotic pain medications will make you groggy and slow your reflexes. Do not drive, operate machinery, or drink alcoholic beverages while taking these medications. Also, do not take these medications on an empty stomach, as this can increase nausea and vomiting.
  3. Bleeding: Some bleeding is to be expected following tooth removal. Minor bleeding or oozing for the first few days is not uncommon. Firm pressure on either a gauze pad or a moistened tea bag for thirty minutes will stop the bleeding in most cases. Keeping your head elevated will also help. If bleeding does not subside, please call us for additional instructions.
  4. Swelling: Ice, frozen peas, or a gel pack will be of great benefit to minimize post-operative swelling. This needs to be started as soon as possible after the surgery and continued for the first 24 hours in order to help the most. Swelling will peak on days 2-3 post-operatively, and then decrease each day. After 48 hours, moist heat will help to decrease swelling and bruising quicker.
  5. Diet: Eating soft foods for the first few days will make your recovery easier. Do not use a straw for the first two days – this can increase bleeding.
  6. Oral Hygiene: Be gentle with cleaning your mouth after surgery. Do not vigorously rinse your mouth for the first 24 hours. Gently brushing and rinsing are important. Rinsing should be done using lukewarm water with either a teaspoon of salt added or a small amount of Scope or Listerine added. If you are given a plastic irrigating syringe, do not begin irrigating until day 7 post-operatively. The salt water or Scope-water solution is used for irrigating.
  7. Medications: Do not stop any medication which has been prescribed by your physician, unless directed to do so by your physician.

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