Before scheduling your dental implant surgery, the oral surgeon and our expert treatment team will make sure you are prepared for the procedure.
We answer all your questions and provide you with detailed preoperative instructions, as well as a comprehensive aftercare plan. By following this advice, you can help ensure that your procedure and recovery go as smoothly as possible.
That said, some instructions are especially important to the success of your dental implants.
No. 1: Quit Smoking Before Your Dental Implant Surgery
We know today that smoking can increase the risks of serious health conditions, like heart disease, chronic lung disease and oral cancer. But did you know that tobacco use can also impede the healing process?
Research shows that smokers have impaired white blood cell migration after dental implant placement. This results in poor wound healing and a greater chance of infection.
We recommend that our patients quit smoking at least one week prior to their dental implant procedure; but putting away your cigarettes for a month or more is even more beneficial. This longer period of abstinence will also make it easier for you to adhere to the smoking restriction after your procedure.
If you’re worried about not being able to take a break from smoking, try a transdermal nicotine patch instead of cigarettes during the oral surgery preoperative period. Using a patch instead of smoking will be better for healing, and it will reduce your risk of infection.
No. 2: Don’t Imbibe Before Getting Dental Implants
Just like smoking, habitual alcohol use has a negative effect on the dental implant healing process, inhibiting bone development and causing an increased risk of infection.
Even if you only indulge occasionally, you’re still at risk. Scientific studies have revealed that any acute exposure to alcohol before oral surgery can cause diminished wound healing and compromise bone formation, a critical part of the implant healing process.
A single night of overindulgence can delay the early inflammatory response and inhibit wound closure. To avoid this, our oral surgeons advise patients to refrain from alcohol consumption for at least one week prior to the implant procedure.
No. 3: Prepare for Your Care After Dental Implant Surgery
Dental implants are placed on an outpatient basis, so you’ll be able to head home once the procedure is finished. But since you may feel sleepy or weak from the anesthesia afterward, we always advise patients to make some preparations ahead of time.
Have a friend or family member available to accompany you to your implant appointment, because we don’t recommend driving yourself home after oral surgery. In fact, if you have IV anesthesia for your procedure, you won’t be allowed to drive.
Also, check with us to verify whether you will need prescription medications after the procedure. If so, consider filling them in advance so you won’t have to make any extra stops on the way home.
Before coming in for your appointment, set up a comfortable spot at home to rest and recover. And don’t forget to stock your pantry — you’ll be on a soft-food diet for several days after your dental implants are placed.
Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery of Utah, with three convenient Salt Lake City area offices, provides expert dental services, including oral surgery, wisdom tooth extraction and restorations. Contact us today to learn more about how dental implants may help restore your healthy, beautiful smile.