FAQs and Answers About Preparing for Dental Implant Surgery

If you have missing teeth, dental implants offer one of the best replacement solutions. Although the process takes longer than getting dentures, many patients are pleased with the natural look and feel of implants. If you’re scheduled for dental implant surgery in San Diego , here are the answers to some questions that may be on your mind. dental - implant

How do I know if I am a good candidate for dental implant surgery?

Most people with missing teeth are candidates for dental implants. The most important factor is if you have enough bone in your jaw to support the implant. Even if your bone has deteriorated, your oral surgeon may still be able to perform dental implant surgery by using bone grafting to rebuild the jaw. Your surgeon will examine if you need bone grafting during the planning process for the procedure. You may also be asked to undergo medical tests to ensure that you don’t have a condition that could interfere with your recovery.

What kind of anesthesia is used for dental implant surgery?

In most cases, patients can have dental implant surgery using only local anesthesia (numbing medication.) Sometimes, local anesthesia can also be used for minor bone grafting that may be necessary to make an implant possible. However, if you are nervous about the implant procedure, talk to your surgeon. He or she can help you choose the right kind of anesthesia for your needs. In some cases, patients opt to have dental implant surgery under IV sedation, particularly if they need multiple implants at once or have to have extensive grafting performed. We can do this in our office as well. You will need someone to drive you home after the procedure if you are going to have anything other than local anesthesia.

Will I need to take time off from work?

Most people prefer to take the rest of the day off after an implant procedure. For extensive implant procedures, and extensive bone grafting, your dentist may recommend that you take off additional time. You will also need to take pain medication after surgery that could interfere with your ability to drive.

The Patient’s Guide to IV Sedation

If you need dental implants or another oral surgery procedure, there is no reason for you to feel nervous and uncomfortable during the process. IV sedation ensures your comfort throughout your procedure, so you can feel confident about the surgery ahead. If you are undergoing dental implants or another procedure in San Diego and are scheduled to receive IV sedation, here is what you need to know. Keep in mind that failing to follow any of the guidelines for IV sedation could lead to your procedure being rescheduled. IV - sedation

Avoid Food and Drink

For IV sedation, it is necessary for you to avoid food, beverages, and smoking after midnight on the day before your procedure if you are scheduled for your sedation in the morning. If your procedure is scheduled for the afternoon, you must avoid eating, drinking, and smoking for at least six hours before your appointment time. Food and drink can increase your risk of choking and nausea from sedation. Smoking lowers the oxygen levels in your blood, which can make the slowed breathing associated with sedation more dangerous.

Arrange for Transportation

Patients who are receiving local anesthesia (numbing medication) can drive themselves to and from their procedures, but if you are receiving IV sedation, you must have a friend or family member come with you. In addition to having someone drive you, you will need assistance at home the day and night of the procedure.

Wear Loose Clothing with Short Sleeves

Loose-fitting clothing with short sleeves makes it easier for the medical team to insert your IV and place any other devices that are necessary, such as electrodes to monitor your heart. Your clothing should also be comfortable. Don’t wear any nail polish or jewelry to the procedure. The medical team needs to be able to attach a small plastic clip to your finger called a pulse oximeter to detect signs of poor blood oxygen levels. Nail polish can interfere with the monitor. Jewelry is a theft hazard for sedated patients, who may struggle to keep track of their pieces.

What Is an Impacted Tooth?

If your tooth does not push through the gum or is under the bone in your jaw, it is called an impacted tooth. Teeth become impacted for a number of different reasons. The wisdom teeth in particular are prone to becoming impacted, and when that occurs, you may need a tooth extraction. If you’re experiencing wisdom teeth pain in San Diego , see your dentist to find out if your teeth are impacted.

In addition to pain, impacted teeth can cause bad breath, an unpleasant taste, and frequent headaches. Swelling, redness, and difficulty opening the mouth can also occur. When left untreated, an impacted tooth can cause a wide range of serious issues, including malocclusion, gum disease, nerve damage, infection, and an abscess.

To treat an impacted tooth, dentists perform tooth extraction procedures. The complexity of an extraction depends on the location of the tooth and if it’s a soft tissue impaction or a full bony impaction. The extraction is followed by a few days of discomfort, during which you may take pain medications. Your dentist may also recommend that you eat a soft food diet after your extraction.

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Prosthodontics 101

Many general dentists are very comfortable and well equipped to restore dental implants but if you have missing or severely damaged teeth, your general dentist may refer you to a dentist who specializes in prosthodontics. This area of dentistry is concerned with the restoration of teeth so that you can feel confident in your smile again. If you have missing teeth in San Diego, you may need dental implants , which are a type of prosthodontic treatment.