If you need to replace one or more missing teeth, dental implants are often the method of choice for dentists and patients alike. Unlike other treatments, implants allow dentists to replace the entire structure of a tooth, right down to the roots. While this allows implants to most closely replicate a tooth, it also means that they must bond naturally with surrounding gum and bone tissues. As a result, patients must undergo oral surgery and a subsequent recovery period before implants are fully functional.
If you plan on receiving dental implants in the near future, our Austin cosmetic dentistry office wants to help make your treatment experience as rewarding as possible. By following these pre-operative instructions, you can benefit from greater overall success and comfort.
Tobacco and Alcohol CessationTobacco and alcohol can both increase the risk of complications with your implants. Smoking and chewing tobacco dramatically increase your chances of developing gum disease and peri-implantitis, ultimately resulting in the failure of implants. Additionally, tobacco reduces the body’s ability to heal, making for a longer or more complicated recovery. Patients are typically asked to cease their tobacco use two to three weeks before oral surgery as well as throughout the healing process.
Similarly, alcohol can reduce healing and result in bleeding complications. It is best to avoid any alcoholic beverages prior to surgery and to limit their consumption during recovery. Speak with your dentist about when, and to what extent, you may consume alcohol.
The Importance of Hygiene
Healthy teeth and gums are an important factor in the success of your implants . If gum disease or infection develops near an implant, it may be unable to fully heal. It is therefore necessary to maintain excellent hygiene throughout the treatment process. Although patients should always be brushing twice a day with fluoride toothpaste and flossing daily, these habits are especially important prior to and following oral surgery.
If your dentist prescribes any medications for you before surgery, have these prescriptions filled and ready in time for your procedure. Painkillers are often taken shortly after surgery, even before the anesthesia wears off. To prevent infection, patients may be directed to begin taking their antibiotics the day before surgery.
For any medications or supplements you are currently taking, speak with your dentist about how they may affect your procedure. Some drugs, such as blood thinners and anticoagulants, may result in complications and should therefore be temporarily stopped prior to surgery.
The Day Of Surgery
Before going in for implant surgery, make sure you are well rested. The better shape your body is in, the more easily you will recover from the procedure. Likewise, be sure you give your teeth and gums a thorough cleaning.
Since implant surgery is performed under anesthesia and/or sedation, be sure to arrange for transportation home. If you are taking a sedative to curb anxiety prior to treatment, you will also need assistance driving to your appointment.
Make Your Surgery a Success
The best treatment arises from continued and open communication between doctor and patient. From your initial consultation through the end of treatment, we aim to provide our patients with accurate information and expectations. Whether you have an upcoming procedure or are interested in learning more about dental implants, contact our office to schedule an appointment with Dr. Holtzclaw.