If you decide to get dental implants, you will need some oral surgery. The exact surgery you need varies based on your situation, and your oral surgeon will go over exactly what you should expect. However, to help you prepare, here is an overview.
Standard Oral Surgery for Dental Implants
With all dental implants, your oral surgeon will start the surgical process by making a very small incision into your gum tissue. Then, the titanium post of the implant is put through your gum into your jaw bone. The gum tissue is stitched closed over the implant. That helps to prevent infection or debris from getting into the opening. At this point, you get a six to eight week break or potentially even longer while the implant fuses to your jawbone.
Once everything has ossified, your oral surgeon opens that area, reveals the top of the post, and places a crown on the implant. If you opt for same-day dental implants, the post and the crown are a single piece, and they are put in together in a single operation. You don’t have to come for two surgeries.
Additional Oral Surgeries
In some cases, you may need additional surgeries to prepare for your dental implants. Here are some of the surgeries that you may need:
- Extractions — Sometimes, you may need teeth removed before the surgeon can put in the dental implants.
- Bone grafts — If the jawbone is not strong enough to support dental implants, your oral surgeon may recommend a bone graft.
Preparing for Oral Surgery
Before you come in for any oral surgery, you should avoid blood thinners such as alcohol or aspirin. You should also spend some time thinking about pain relief. You may be fine with a local anesthetic, but in other cases, you may also want to turn to dental sedation such as an oral anti-anxiety medication or general anesthesia. If you opt for these medications, you should plan a ride to and from the dental clinic.
Also, if your dental implants are going to require multiple surgeries, try to work with your oral surgeon to plan ahead. For instance, if you are getting the post and then the cap for your dental implants later, you will want to plan everything so that you aren’t on vacation or otherwise engaged when you need the second surgery.
Recovering From Oral Surgery
After the procedure, you need to give yourself some time to recover. You can return to work or school the next day after most of these procedures, but you should remember that you may need to eat soft food for a few days. To be prepared, you may want to stock your cupboards with soaps, smoothie ingredients, mashed potatoes, and other foods that don’t require a lot of chewing. You may need to take antibiotics during your recovery, and your oral surgeon may also prescribe pain medications, especially after a bone graft.
To learn more about dental implants, contact us today. At Greater Atlanta Oral and Facial Surgery, we have top-notch technology as well as world class oral surgeons who can help you meet your needs.