Over the past 25 years or so, dental implants have revolutionized dental care. Whereas a fixed bridge or removable partial denture were the options for replacing a seriously damaged tooth (that needed extraction) or a missing tooth, today we use dental implants if possible. While dental implants may not be practical for replacing a number of missing teeth, they are also great for anchoring partial or full dentures. The All-on-4 dental implant system uses four implants on each arch to anchor full-arch prostheses, making them stable so the patient doesn’t have to worry about the slipping and food taboos that come with traditional dentures.
Dr. Velasco loves dental implants, and so will you. If you’re coming in for an implant, what can you expect and what should you do to prepare? Let’s go over that in this April blog.
Prior to deciding upon an implant, Dr. Velasco will have examined your oral health situation. If you’ve been missing a tooth or teeth for some time, you may have had substantial resorption of your bone mass. During your examination, Dr. Velasco will take a 3D CT scan of your teeth and jawbone to ascertain if you have sufficient mass to support the implant base. In cases of only moderate jawbone loss, he can often place bone grafting material into the empty tooth socket at the same time he places the implant. That way, the bone graft can add mass at the same time the jawbone is growing around the titanium implant base.
There isn’t much you need to do to prepare for receiving a dental implant. Depending on your situation, you may need to fast for 10 hours prior to your appointment if you’re having IV sedation. You’ll also need to have someone drive you to and from your appointment. If Dr. Velasco has prescribed any antibiotics to take to prepare for this surgery, be sure to have done that or he will not be able to proceed.
You should think about the foods you’ll want to have around. The process doesn’t involve much residual pain, but you will need to eat a soft diet for a few days to let your gums heal where the implant was placed. Get some soups, stuff for smoothies, pastas, yogurt, and the like.
Also, plan on staying home after your treatment, not returning to work or other activities. As mentioned, there isn’t much pain, but your jaw will be a little sore and your body would rather you lay low for the rest of the day.
Remember you will also repeat the gum healing part of the equation after the osseointegration process is complete and you return to have Dr. Velasco place the abutment (post) onto the implant base. So, you’ll have another few days of soft diet foods as the gums heal around the post.
That’s about it. Dental implants are far and away the best way to replace a missing tooth, and Dr. Velasco has extensive training and experience with the process to ensure you’ll love your new tooth in the end. Call us at Uptown Cosmetic & Implant Dentistry, 713-960-9623, to schedule a consultation or for a regular appointment.