Essential Steps to Prepare for Dental Implants

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Illustration of teeth showing dental implant structure

Dental implant surgery is a transformative procedure that offers a permanent solution for individuals with missing teeth. Before embarking on this journey, patients must understand that successful dental implant surgery requires thorough preparation. Adequate preparation for dental implants ensures that patients are mentally and physically ready for the procedure and that the outcome is both satisfactory and long-lasting. 

So, what’s the first step toward permanently replacing missing teeth with implants? A consultation with a trusted dentist in Dallas, TX! At Lakewood Dental Group, you’ll find a team of skilled and reputable professionals who can help you begin the implant process. So, get started today by calling our team at (214) 827-1885!

By themselves, dental implants are screw-like posts that a dental professional surgically embeds into the jawbone. Once fused with the jawbone, the implant becomes a permanent structure in the oral cavity. As a result, tooth implants take the place of the missing tooth’s natural root. With the help of an abutment piece, these tiny posts can securely hold dental restorations (like dentures, crowns, or bridges), effectively restoring a patient’s oral health, function, and appearance. 

While technology is offering improvements in dental implant surgery, there are still some disqualifying factors that patients should consider, such as poor oral health and low bone volume. In this blog, we explore the various preparatory procedures that patients may need before seeking dental implant surgery. 

Dental Evaluation and Consultation

The initial step in preparing for dental implant surgery is to schedule a comprehensive dental evaluation and consultation with a qualified dentist or oral surgeon in Dallas, TX. During this consultation, the dentist will examine the patient’s mouth, teeth, and jawbone to determine if they are a suitable candidate for dental implants

The dentist may want to gather X-rays and CT scans to assess the jawbone’s density and identify potential issues that could affect the implant’s success. At Lakewood Dental Group, we limit your exposure to harmful radiation by offering digital X-rays, which use a fraction of the radiation necessary to capture film-based X-rays. 

The dentist may also discuss the patient’s dental and medical history, including any chronic conditions or medications that may influence the procedure. It is best to be as thorough and honest as possible, as even minor issues can complicate dental implant surgery and the recovery process.

Addressing Oral Health Issues

Gum disease, tooth decay, or other dental problems can jeopardize the success of the implant procedure. Therefore, patients must address any existing oral health issues before seeking implant surgery to ensure the best possible outcomes. 

Some patients may need to undergo treatments (such as periodontal therapy, root canal therapy, or tooth extractions) to create a healthy foundation for the implants. This stage is crucial for eliminating infection and preserving the surrounding tissues, ensuring a higher chance of implant success (which hovers around 98%).

Bone Grafting and Sinus Augmentation

A solid and healthy jawbone is essential to provide a stable foundation for dental implants. Otherwise, the procedure is at risk of failure, which could have painful and costly consequences for patients. 

Bone grafting and sinus augmentation are two preparatory procedures that dentists typically recommend for patients who have inadequate jawbone density or a diminished sinus cavity. Let’s briefly explore these procedures now.

Bone Grafting

Bone grafting is a medical procedure that uses donor tissue to rebuild or enhance areas of low bone volume. Types of donor tissue include:

  • Autografts: Bone tissue that a skilled medical professional harvests from the patient’s own body, usually from the chin, jaw, or hip area. Dentists consider autografts to be the most effective and preferred option since they contain live bone cells, which promote natural bone regeneration. 
  • Allografts: Allografts involve using bone graft material sourced from a donor, usually either human cadavers or animals. The donor bone undergoes rigorous processing to remove all living cells, making it biocompatible. Dentists widely use allografts due to their availability and convenience.
  • Xenografts: In this procedure, the bone graft material is derived from animals, typically bovine or porcine sources. Similar to allografts, xenografts undergo processing to make them safe for human use. 

Sinus Augmentation

Sinus augmentation (also called a sinus lift) is a specific type of bone grafting procedure that involves lifting the sinus membrane to create additional space for implant placement in the upper back jaw. Typically, dentists perform this procedure when the sinus cavity has expanded, which can occupy space where dental implants need to be placed.

During a sinus augmentation, dentists insert the bone graft material into the space created between the sinus membrane and the jawbone. This helps promote bone growth and provides ample support for dental implants.

Lifestyle Adjustments

Patients preparing for dental implant surgery may need to make some lifestyle adjustments to promote better healing and reduce the risk of complications. Quitting smoking, if applicable, is highly recommended, as smoking can hinder the body’s ability to heal and increase the risk of implant failure. 

Additionally, alcohol consumption should be limited in the days leading up to the surgery, as it can interfere with the effectiveness of anesthesia and pain medications.

Preparing for the Procedure

In the days leading up to the dental implant surgery, patients must follow the pre-operative instructions provided by their dentist or oral surgeon. This may include fasting before the procedure, avoiding certain medications that could interfere with anesthesia, and making arrangements for transportation to and from the dental clinic. Following these guidelines will help ensure that the patient is physically prepared, which can reduce anxiety on the day of the surgery.

Dental Implants Near Dallas, TX

Preparing for dental implant surgery requires a thorough evaluation and examination by a qualified medical professional. In some cases, a patient may need to address oral health issues and make lifestyle adjustments to prepare for the procedure. In other cases, however, patients may need to undergo preparatory surgeries to establish a better foundation for implant placement.  

No matter how you need to prepare for dental implants, the team at Lakewood Dental Group is here to help. Get started with our implant dentists in Dallas, TX, by requesting a consultation on our website or calling (214) 827-1885 now!