Prepare For Dental Implant Surgery With These Three Tips

Although dental implant surgery is fairly straightforward, there's typically a lot of prep work involved to ensure the procedure goes smoothly. While your cosmetic dentist will take care of most of the details, here are three things you can do to improve your chances of having a successful surgery and recovery.

Stop Smoking and Using Problematic Substances

Dental implants fail for various reasons, but a common one is because patients use substances that interfere with the body's ability to heal. The nicotine in cigarettes and vape juice, for instance, is a vasoconstrictor that inhibits good blood flow by causing the arteries to narrow. This makes it harder for nutrients and white blood cells to reach the surgery site, slowing the healing process and raising the risk of infection setting in.

Alcohol, too, can cause problems because it may make any medications you take less effective or increase your likelihood of developing side effects.

Thus, it's a good idea to avoid using cigarettes, vapes, alcohol, illicit drugs, and marijuana at least a few weeks (your dentist can recommend a more exact timeline) before undergoing the procedure. This will give your body time to recover from the effects of these substances and boost your chances of a successful implant.

Check In With Your Healthcare Provider

In addition to getting a full dental checkup prior to your dental implant surgery, you should sit with your doctor to discuss your health history and how it could impact the surgery or vice versa. This is particularly important if you have a chronic illness, have been significantly sick in the past, or are taking prescription drugs that could interfere with medications the dentist may prescribe.

For example, if you've had a transplant, you're likely taking medication that suppresses your immune response to help prevent your body from attacking the new organ. In this case, you'll need to take a round of antibiotics to eliminate as much harmful bacteria as possible before getting your implants to minimize the risk of infection.

Even if you feel fine and haven't had anything more than a cold, you'll still want to get checked out. There are many health conditions that don't always produce noticeable symptoms (e.g., heart disease) but could still negatively impact your dental implant surgery. It's always better to be overly cautious than to discover a problem too late that causes significant complications.

Develop a Soft Foods Diet

Depending on the type of implants you get, it can take several months for the surgery site to heal and the implant to take hold in the jaw. During this time, you want to stick to a soft diet as much as possible. Hard and chewy foods can cause the implant to become dislodged or break, which will lead to failure.

Thus, you want to take a look at your existing diet and swap out potentially problematic foods for softer, more implant-friendly ones. For instance, eat steamed carrots instead of raw ones or substitute sliced almonds for whole ones.

Your cosmetic dentist can provide you with a list of foods to avoid eating while your implants are healing, and you can use the internet to research good swaps to make if some of your favorites are on it. Alternatively, meet with a nutritionist who can help you develop a good diet to follow, which can be particularly useful if have special dietary needs.

Preparing for dental implant surgery can be challenging depending on your situation. However, these tooth replacements can cost up to $4,500 per tooth. So, doing what you can to ensure successful implantation can save you time and money.

For more information about dental implants, contact a local cosmetic dentist.