518 Te Atatu Road, Te Atatu Peninsula, 0610
reception@opaldental.co.nz
518 Te Atatu Road, Atatu Peninsula, 0610
reception@opaldental.co.nz
Call 09 834 6359

Dental implants are artificial tooth roots topped with crowns. They’re a permanent way to replace missing teeth and can be life-transforming.

If you’re wondering how to prepare for dental implants, this article is for you. We’ll explain what the procedure involves and what to do before dental implant surgery.

This knowledge will help you feel confident and prepared for a future with dental implants.

What exactly are dental implants?

A dental implant is a rod made primarily of titanium that is inserted into your jawbone. In time, it fuses with the bone and acts just as a natural tooth root would.

Artificial teeth or crowns are placed on top of the implant, which is secure in your jaw. This creates a permanent solution to missing teeth.

The whole procedure, from inserting the implants to adding the crowns, can take up to 12 months. This is because you have to allow time for the jawbone to fuse with the implant, ensuring that it makes a strong foundation.

Dental implants offer many advantages:

  • They last a long time.
  • They help to prevent bone loss, which can happen after you lose a tooth.
  • They look natural.
  • They help stabilise the surrounding teeth.
  • They are similar to natural teeth when you are eating or speaking.

You should be aware that dental implants aren’t suitable for everyone. If you haven’t got sufficient bone density in your jaw, you may need a bone graft. For some people with this issue, a bridge might be a more appropriate option.

Dental implants can also be more expensive than other options, such as dentures. However, given that they last a long time, they tend to pay for themselves over the long run.

Preparing for a dental implant procedure

Before your dental implant procedure, you will have a detailed consultation with your dentist. They will examine your mouth and take X-rays to put together a treatment plan for you.

Fixing your dental implants will take place in several phases. During the first phase, your dentist will insert the implant into your jawbone. You will then have a break for several months to allow your bone to grow around the implant. Then, you will return to have the crown part of the implant fixed on top.

To prepare for implant insertion, it’s important to know first of all whether your dentist will give you a local anaesthesia or IV sedation.

For local anaesthesia, you can eat a light meal a couple of hours before the procedure. For IV sedation, you will be advised not to eat for several hours before the surgery. You will also need to arrange for someone to take you home afterwards.

Your dentist may offer you antibiotics to take in the days running up to the procedure. They may also prescribe an antibacterial mouthwash to help prevent infection.

Afterwards, you will need to rest for at least a few hours or possibly longer if you have had IV sedation.

Your mouth may feel sore, or you may experience pain. Your dentist will advise which over-the-counter painkillers you can take. You can aid the healing process by rinsing with a warm salt-water solution several times a day.

Stick to soft or liquid foods like soup, ice cream and pureed foods while your mouth is healing.

And remember, you will need to keep your dental implant and crown clean, just as you would care for natural teeth. This helps reduce the risk of problems like gum disease or mouth infections.

Your local dentist for Te Atatu and surrounding areas

If you’d like to find out whether dental implants are a good option for you, why not come along and see us at Opal Dental?

We’re your local dentist for Te Atatu and surrounding areas. We offer a whole range of services, from check-ups to dental implants.

Reach out to us today to make an appointment — and let’s see how dental implants could transform both your smile and lifestyle!

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