Getting dental implants can be a big decision, one that can take time and consideration. Once you do decide to get dental implants, however, preparing with your dentist is an important part of the process before you ever move toward the surgery. You should know what to expect before, during, and after the surgery, as well as what part you will play in the process.
Margaret Culotta-Norton, DDS, as well as the rest of the staff at our Washington, DC practice, wants to ensure you are as prepared as possible before you receive your dental implants. At our office, we can discuss the procedure with you and make sure you are ready for successful implant placement.
How to prepare for your dental implant placement
Preparation for dental implants takes time. For one, you may have to consult with more doctors in addition to discussing the procedure with Dr. Culotta-Norton, including the surgeon who will be performing the procedure. Early on, it is also important to give Dr. Culotta-Norton every detail of your medical history. There are many factors in your medical history that can affect the healing process, and making sure Dr. Culotta-Norton knows all of these details enables her to set up the best care possible for your treatment and healing process.
Before you can get your dental implants, you will likely also need a comprehensive dental exam, which includes X-rays and 3D images of your teeth. In addition, you will need to discuss all aspects of the procedure with Dr. Culotta-Norton and perhaps several other medical professionals in order to ensure you are getting the best options for your needs. For example, different types of anesthesia are available, and you may want to choose general, local, or sedation, depending on your needs.
Dr. Culotta-Norton will help you prepare for your dental implant placement until the day comes when you are ready for your procedure. Being open and honest with her about the process, as well as being available to discuss the different aspects of it, will be important to your successful implant placement as well as to your full recovery.
How to improve and speed up the healing process
Once your surgery is over, there will be certain aspects of the healing process that you can control. By taking these steps, you will improve your body’s ability to heal, shorten the length of time it takes to heal, and improve your dental implant’s overall long-term success.
Do not smoke
If you are a smoker, make every effort to stop smoking before your surgery. Most people know that smoking increases your risk for heart disease. The reason it increases the risk for heart disease is the same as the reason it affects healing from surgeries: it constricts blood vessels and reduces blood flow. In heart disease, this gives you higher blood pressure. In surgery healing, it prevents essential healing cells from reaching the surgical site. Smokers have a much higher rate of implant failure than non-smokers.
Control your blood sugar
This is especially important for diabetic patients, and everyone can benefit from watching their sugar intake during healing. Diabetic patients are notoriously bad healers. Diabetes affects blood vessels the same way that smoking does, so the site of surgery is not getting the proper healing cells. By controlling your blood sugar as closely as possible, you can improve your body’s natural ability to heal itself.
Fight chronic inflammation
Many people suffer from chronic inflammation due to autoimmune disease. Before proceeding with any surgical procedures, work with your doctor to control chronic inflammation. This may involve dietary changes and natural supplements. Basically, you want your entire body to be as healthy as possible before undergoing any surgeries!
Follow ALL of your post-operative care instructions
These instructions outline the essential steps you must take to ensure a good healing process. They are not optional! This includes taking recommended medications on the schedule prescribed by your doctor. Many of your medications are to be taken as needed for pain, but others must be taken on a strict timeline in order to fight infection and inflammation. They improve the healing process.
Interested in more details about your specific healing process?
If you are interested in learning more about dental implants or are gearing up to have dental implant surgery and need more information about the healing process, call Margaret Culotta-Norton, DDS at 202-833-1111. You can also schedule a consultation online.