How to start and prepare for dental implant?

Having dental implants to replace your tooth or teeth is not like your usual visit to the dentist. It requires at least one surgery and you will need to go through a full evaluation of your mouth and jaws for the treatment to start. This evaluation process involves both a full dental exam and treatment planning.

Teeth implants – evaluation and planning

Full dental examination

A dentist or a dental surgeon will examine and evaluate the state of your teeth. There might be the need for X-rays of your jaw, or to make models of your teeth, jaw and mouth.

Dental treatment planning

Having the evaluation data, with the possible X-rays and jaw models, the dentists comes up with a plan for your treatment. This planning process involves deciding how many teeth need replacement, and studying the state of the jawbone. Furthermore, input from different dental experts, for example, a maxillofacial surgeon who specializes in the jaw and mouth or a periodontist who specializes in constructing support structures for the teeth, may be required.

What else needs to be done

It is important not to keep secrets that could be significant from your dental specialist. If a patient takes any kind of medication, prescribed or otherwise, this should be reported to the dentist. In cases where a patient suffers from any heart conditions or has orthopaedic implants, there might be need of pre-surgery antibiotic treatment in order to prevent any infection.

If pain is of concern to the patient, they should ask the dental specialist about anaesthesia and which options will be best. This could be local anaesthesia, general anaesthesia or sedation. A patient will also get instructions about pre-surgery eating and drinking, which will be also determined by the chosen type of anaesthesia. In cases of general anaesthesia, it would be wise to have someone who will be able to take you home after the procedure. A patient should take at least a day to rest.

Bone grafting

In cases where the examination shows that the patient’s jawbone is too thin or soft, bone grafting might be needed before going through with the dental implant surgery. If the bone is too weak, this could have problems with supporting the implant, resulting in surgical failure. Thanks to the bone graft, your base will be solid enough for the dental implant.

The procedure of bone grafting involves taking a piece of bone from the patient’s jaw or other parts of body, or a synthetic bone which is then transplanted into the jawbone. However, having a bone graft means a patient needs to wait up to 9 months to be ready for the implant. Minor bone grafting can be done during dental implant surgery.

Teeth implants – additional preparation

In some cases patients may be in need of minor oral surgery before placing the dental implant. Those procedures are:

  • Reshaping and smoothing the bone
  • Excess bone or gum tissue removal
  • Reduction of the bone ridge

Do not be discouraged by the preparation stage and lengthy full mouth examination. All this needs to be done in order to make your actual dental implant surgery as smooth and effective as possible. Not much can be done without proper planning. Remember that teeth implants are a solution that will serve you for many years to come. It is worth investing your precious time, energy and money in a treatment that will give you the ability to eat all types of foods and give you an incredible boost of confidence.

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