For those who have lost teeth from trauma or conditions such as gum disease or tooth decay, a dental implant is a reliable replacement solution. Dental implants are made from a strong metal material (typically titanium), and carefully implanted by an experienced oral and maxillofacial surgeon such as myself to restore teeth back to the function and appearance of natural teeth. A dental implant can be used to replace a single tooth, multiple teeth or a full mouth.
Over the years, there have been extensive improvements in dental implant technologies, including three-dimensional imaging, advanced grafting and biologic growth factors. In certain cases, I perform the All-on-Four Procedure to minimize bone grafting and healing time. With this technique, patients can have the implants and fixed temporary teeth attached to them within the same day.
Since the procedure often requires the use of intravenous (IV) anesthesia, certain pre-operative and post-operative instructions must be followed closely to ensure optimal results. For example, patients undergoing IV anesthesia should not eat or drink at least six hours prior to their surgery, and should have someone take them to and from their appointment. The patients’ health status is evaluated prior to the procedure in order to address all concerns and provide the type of anesthesia that is the safest and most appropriate for the patient.
Upon completion of the dental implant surgery, it is imperative for patients to get adequate rest and take all medications as instructed. After a dental implant is placed, there may be a small metal cylinder that protrudes through the gums, so the patient must remain extra cautious to avoid chewing on the area. In addition, the surgery site will contain sutures that should not be disturbed, so patients need to avoid rinsing their mouths for the first day after the dental implant placement.
In the days and weeks following the procedure, proper oral hygiene is essential to adequate healing. Physical activity should be kept to a minimum to avoid throbbing or bleeding. Partial or full dentures should not be used immediately after surgery and for at least 10 days thereafter.
At OC Oral Surgery in Mission Viejo, California, I perform dental implant procedures regularly.