You might have a general idea of what to expect during dental implant surgery, but what about the pre-operative stages? What about the post-operative recovery period? Dr. Suzanne Caudry and her staff are here to fill you in on all the particulars related to the pre and post-operative stages of dental implant surgery. Before long, you'll know how to prepare for these crucial stages of the dental implant process.
Should any questions arise while you read this post, don't hesitate to contact us at (416) 928-3444. We are always here to answer the questions of potential clients and everyone in our community.
Preparing for Dental Implant Surgery
Over the last few blog posts, we at the facilities of Dr. Caudry have been very meticulous in our explanations of the dental implant surgery procedures. We have outlined the history of dental implantology, how surgical processes have evolved, and everything we do to make the patient experience as wonderful as it can be.
What about the pre-operative stages of the patient's dental implant journey? What about the initial consultations, referrals, and discussions with periodontists? What should a patient expect before undergoing surgery, and what can they do to ensure a successful surgery?
Seek Out a Referral
As you might already know, dental implant surgery is not performed by dentists. Dental implantology is the specialty of Periodontists. While dentists offer a wide range of oral care services, periodontists take a more specialized and focused approach to their practice. Before you can sit down with a periodontist to discuss your oral health issues, you are going to need a referral from your dentist of choice. The dentist will perform a check-up, take X-rays of your mouth, and determine the appropriate course of action.
You will contact your local periodontist with your referral slip and, if applicable, the recent X-rays. To make things easier for yourself and all parties involved, be sure to write out a list of the medications you are currently taking. You might have a good memory, but it is always best to jot down important information, so nothing slips between the cracks.
Do you have dental insurance? Be sure to bring your insurance cards and any other necessary identification. And if you are under the age of 18, please remember that you must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.
What to Expect from the Consultation
The dental implant consultation is where the journey towards a healthy and renewed smile really begins. The consultation process begins with an in-depth examination of the teeth and gums, courtesy of your oral surgeon. They will evaluate the existing bone density in the jaw area, review your medical history, and more.
The reason we evaluate bone density is to determine whether or not your existing jaw bone can handle the insertion of a dental implant. In the event that you lack the necessary bone density for an implant, we will invite you to consider a bone graft procedure. Many patients undergo bone graft surgery before receiving their dental implant, and any professional should be more than confident in their abilities to perform such a procedure.
After determining the appropriate course of action, we will discuss the treatment plan and potential options that await you. We will cover topics such as:
- Number of procedures and surgeries
- Length of surgical times
- Available sedation and anesthetic options
- What to expect during the recovery period(s)
- And more
How to Prepare for Dental Implant Surgery
There are a lot of things a patient can do to ease their mind and body before undergoing dental implant surgery. There are also a fair number of things they can do to ensure the best possible results, too.
Unless requested to do otherwise, it is common for your periodontist to suggest you abstain from non-steroidal medications like Aspirin for the five days leading up to surgery. Consult with your MD if you are taking blood-thinning medications like Coumadin or any other medications.
What to Bring to Surgery
We advise patients to wear comfortable clothing. If possible, try to avoid wearing white. Some patients have been known to bring blankets and additional sweaters to ensure added comfort while they are sedated.
Foods to Eat Before Surgery
You are what you eat. To ensure the most optimal results, we recommend you maintain a diet of healthy, nutritious-and soft-foods, if possible. Many of the foods you stock in your pantry prior to surgery will also be the ones you can safely enjoy in the recovery period, as well. Some of these include:
- Ice cream
- Soft fruit
- Nut butters
- Soft cheese
- Steamed/roasted vegetables
- Cottage cheese
- Well cooked pasta or rice
- Hummus, guacamole, and other dips
- Rice pudding
- Apple sauce
- Protein shakes
- Soup and broths
- Potatoes/sweet potato
Recovering from Dental Surgery
Expect several days of swelling after returning home. To minimize the appearance of swelling, place an ice pack against your cheek for twenty minutes every hour for the first day. You may also notice some light bleeding around the surgical site. A little bit of bleeding is normal. To avoid excessive bleeding, avoid vigorous rinsing, do not brush around the surgical site, and refrain from using a straw for the first 7-10 days.
Most periodontists will send the patient home with dissolvable sutures. You'll notice the disappearance of these sutures after several days to a week. If they are non-dissolvable sutures, your periodontist will remove them during a post-operative visit 10 days after the dental implant surgery.
Learn More About Dental Implant Surgery
Now that you've been primed on the pre-and post-operative recovery stages of the dental implant surgery, why not give yourself a refresher on the finer points of the surgical process itself? Browse through our other blog posts at your leisure. Sound off in the comment section below if you have any questions or if there is something else you'd like us to explore.