What Are the Steps Before Getting a Dental Implant?

What Are the Steps Before Getting a Dental Implant?

A dental implant is a permanent solution for a missing tooth. Getting a dental implant involves surgery to place a small titanium screw into your jawbone. This screw serves as a replacement for the root of your missing tooth, and it supports a crown or bridge to restore the appearance and function of your smile.

You could be a good candidate for a dental implant if you have a missing tooth, you need a tooth extracted, or you wear dentures, but there are some things to know before you schedule your procedure. 

  1. Paul Fuentes, DDS, DABP, Andrew Peterson, DMD, MS, and our team at Arcadia Perio specialize in dental implants, and we’re here to guide you through the process.

If you’re curious about getting a dental implant, here are the steps you should take next.

1. Consult with an oral surgeon

The first step in the process is to schedule an appointment with an oral surgeon. Dr. Fuentes and Dr. Peterson perform comprehensive dental implant consultations, and we can help you determine if an implant is right for you.

We do a thorough examination of your mouth and review your medical history to determine if you’re a good candidate for the procedure. We also take time to answer any questions you may have about getting a dental implant to help you understand the benefits and potential risks.

2. Get dental X-rays

At your consultation, we take dental X-rays and other medical imaging, like a cone beam computed tomography (CT) scan, as needed. We use these studies to get a better look at the structure of your jawbone, ensure you have enough bone to support an implant, and determine the best placement for it.

3. Consider your overall health

To be a good candidate for a dental implant, you should be in good overall health. We review your medical history at your consultation to determine if you have any conditions that could make getting a dental implant riskier.

For example, a compromised immune system could increase your risk of infection. Poorly controlled diabetes could increase your risk of slow-healing wounds. In these cases, we may recommend that you wait until your health has improved before undergoing the procedure.

4. Explore your financing options

Dental implants can be costly, so you should understand your financing options before moving forward with the procedure. 

Many dental insurance plans cover a portion of the cost. We also offer financing options, which include payment plans or credit card financing, for qualified patients.

5. Prepare for the procedure

Dental implants require two steps: surgery and restoration. If you decide to get a dental implant, the next step is to prepare for your surgery. Most dental implant procedures take an hour or two. 

You can drive yourself home afterward, but you may want to take a few days off work and ask someone to stay with you to help you with daily tasks and ensure you’re comfortable.

You return to our office in a few months for the second step of the process, the restoration phase. Once your implant has fully healed, we fit the artificial tooth crown or bridge onto it, and your implant is complete.

6. Plan for the recovery process

Dental implants require a period of healing after surgery, so be prepared. You may experience swelling, bruising, and some discomfort in the days following the surgery, and you need to follow our team’s post-operative instructions. 

These instructions may include caring for the implant site, taking medications, and avoiding certain foods and activities.

Are you ready to get started? Call our Arcadia, California, office at 626-600-2009 or request a dental implant consultation online today.

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