Undergoing a dental implant procedure is an important first step toward getting a healthier, happier smile—and enjoying a healthier, happier life. Dental implants help to maintain your biting and chewing abilities, preserve the structure of your jaw after tooth loss, and give you a new, completely natural looking smile.
We know many patients see the words “oral surgery” and become concerned, but the process is actually very common. And at My Family Dentistry, you’ll be in the care of a skilled, experienced oral surgeon and dental team the entire time.
To help alleviate any pre-procedure anxiety, it helps to know what to expect and how to prepare. Should you fast beforehand? What should you do afterward? We answer some of your questions below.
Before your dental implant procedure
Line up your meal prep.
Prepare a few days’ worth of very soft foods, like smoothies, nutritional shakes, soups, and pasta. Freeze portions if necessary. For the first few days following your dental implant procedure, you may not be able to chew firmer foods, so make sure you have enough to eat. You can also check with your dentist for a list of approved foods that won’t irritate healing gums.
Plan events accordingly.
We generally recommend that our patients not plan important events for at least a week following dental implant surgery. In particular, the first three days post-procedure should be completely devoted to rest and self-care. Plan to take off work or school to make sure you have an optimal recovery. If you have small children, arrange for someone to help take care of them while you recuperate.
Wear loose, comfortable clothing to your appointment. You can even show up in your pajamas (promise we won’t judge)! Remove any nail polish, makeup, contact lenses, and jewelry prior to your appointment.
Arrange for a ride home.
You will almost definitely be sedated or anesthetized during your dental implant procedure—which means you definitely shouldn’t plan to drive yourself home. Make sure you have a friend or family member ready to pick you up afterward to get you around safely.
Get a good night’s sleep.
Recovery requires strength, so come to your appointment fully rested and ready for a brand new smile. Try to sleep well on the nights following your surgery, too, so your body can direct as much energy as possible toward healing.
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Should I fast before my dental implant procedure?
Generally, yes. Always check with your dentist about the specifics—especially if you have a preexisting food-related health issue such as diabetes—but typically, you should not eat for 8-12 hours before your surgery.
The main concern about eating before oral surgery is pulmonary aspiration, which is what happens when the contents of your stomach get into your lungs. It’s rarely fatal, but it does put you at risk for infections such as pneumonia. We always want to play it safe with our patients, so we generally recommend abstaining from food before oral surgery. You can usually take your prescription medications as usual, but always check with your oral surgeon.
We hope this article helped with your pre-procedure anxiety, but if you have any questions or concerns about what happens before, during, or after oral surgery, please feel free to contact our team. We’re always happy to meet a new patient—or give advice to a regular—about how to attain the smile of your dreams.
If you have not yet booked an appointment for a dental implant procedure, but think it might be the right option for you, book your consultation today.