What to Do Before Dental Implant Surgery
If you have one or more missing teeth and your dentist has cleared you for dental implant surgery, congratulations! You will soon be able to show off a full, bright smile that has all the strength and functionality of natural teeth. However, dental implants do involve oral surgery, so it’s important to prepare well ahead of time for the surgery and recovery period. If you have a dental implant surgery scheduled, here’s what you need to do beforehand:
Start a course of antibiotics
As with any surgery, there is always a risk of infection afterward, which is why many dentists prescribe a course of antibiotics to be started ahead of the surgery date. Taking antibiotics before and after the surgery will help your body fight off any potential infection, allowing the implant area to heal and lowering the risk of implant rejection, which happens when the implant fails to fuse to the jawbone.
Arrange for transportation
Most dental implant patients receive IV sedation during the surgery, which means you will be unable to drive yourself home afterward. Make sure to arrange for transportation to and from the dentist office from either a friend or family member. Alternatively, you can pre-schedule a ride from a rideshare service so you don’t have to worry about dealing with the app while still groggy from sedatives.
Schedule downtime and prepare for after-care
After the dental implant procedure, your mouth will be sore and swollen, and you will likely feel groggy from sedatives for the remainder of the day. You should take the entire day off of work, and perhaps a day or two afterward to rest and heal. It’s also best to avoid social engagements for about a week after surgery. You should also arrange for childcare or help around the house for the first couple of days after surgery, so you can rest and recover without worries.
Stock up on essentials
Other preparations to make include acquiring ice packs and over-the-counter pain medication that will help alleviate soreness and swelling. Also, because your gums will be tender for a few days after surgery, you should also stock up soft foods that are easy to chew and even prep-cook a few meals. Soft foods can include:
- Soft fruit and cooked vegetables
- Pasta and rice
- Smoothies or nutritional shakes like Ensure
- Ground beef
- Ice cream and popsicles, which will also help with soreness
Also, try to avoid acidic and spicy foods and beverages for at least a week after surgery, as they can irritate the implant site and cause further discomfort.
Don’t eat anything the day of the surgery
Your dentist will recommend you refrain from eating or drinking anything for the 12 hours before the appointment if you’re receiving IV sedation. You should still brush and floss your teeth before the surgery, however, and your dentist may also recommend rinsing your mouth with an antibacterial mouthwash to keep germs at bay.
Wear comfortable clothes
Since you won’t have to change into a surgical gown as with medical surgeries, it’s a good idea to wear loose, comfortable clothing during the dental implant procedure. Dentists also recommend removing nail polish and avoiding makeup for the day of the surgery.
Dental implants in San Diego Smile Designers
Missing teeth can have a negative impact on your overall confidence, and they can also lead to serious oral health issues down the road. Dental implants are the strongest, most durable and natural-looking option for tooth replacement, and the professionals at Smile Designers are here to answer all your questions about the procedure. For more information or to schedule a consultation, call us at (619) 222-6000.