All-on-4® dental implants look and feel just like normal teeth and are far superior to traditional dentures. They require no special products or maintenance — you care for them the same as you do your natural teeth.
If you’re getting the All-on-4® dental implant system installed, then you may be wondering what you can expect before and after the procedure. Here’s what you need to know!
How To Prepare For Implants
Usually, All-on-4® implants are completed during one office visit. The entire procedure will last for several hours, so you should allow at least one day for the procedure. Before the day of the surgery, make sure to:
1. Arrange for transportation to and from your procedure
You can’t legally drive for 24 hours after receiving anesthesia, so your driver should be able to wait for you throughout the entire procedure.
2. Plan ahead for pain management and fill all prescriptions
Make sure you have all prescriptions filled according to your dentist’s recommendation so that you can take them on schedule, both before and after your procedure. Your dentist may prescribe antibiotics, a germicidal mouthwash, pain medication, anti-inflammatory medication, and anti-nausea medications. It’s important that you take them as prescribed, and take the pain and anti-nausea medications as you need them.
3. Shop for food
Be sure to have the allowed soft foods at home, including protein drinks, so that you don’t need to grocery shop after your procedure. Your dentist may prefer that you eat and drink nothing after midnight on the day of your surgery due to possible interactions with your anesthetics, so eat a filling dinner the night before.
4. Pick out loose-fitting clothing to wear during the procedure
Don’t wear any jewelry, and no tight collars or neckties. No contact lenses or false eyelashes should be worn, and low-heeled shoes are best for walking immediately after the procedure.
5. Notify our office immediately if you develop a cold, sore throat or other illness
6. Stop smoking and using nicotine products well in advance of the procedure
If you smoke, you’ll need to make alternate plans or use this as the first stage of quitting. We recommend that you don’t smoke for 30 days after your procedure. Nicotine interferes with the healing process, and inhaling can dislodge blood clots during recovery.
The Morning Of Your Surgery
On the morning of your surgery, be sure not to eat or drink anything if directed by your dentist and make sure that your teeth and mouth are clean. If you must take medication, be sure to advise us of the fact and take it only with a small amount of water.
Wear casual, comfortable, loose-fitting clothing, and don’t forget to use the bathroom right before your procedure begins. If you have any last-minute questions, your surgeon will be happy to answer them before beginning the surgery.
Immediately After Surgery
It’s vital to the success of your procedure that you follow your post-op instructions carefully. Immediately after surgery, you should have a friend or family member stay with you for at least eight hours.
Right after surgery, you’ll probably experience some bleeding, which is normal. You can staunch the bleeding through the use of gauze pads (you may need to bite down firmly for a while). Biting down firmly on a tea bag that has been squeezed dry may also help because the tannin in the tea will constrict the blood vessels and inhibit bleeding.
- Don’t rinse your mouth, spit or suck on a straw for at least 24 hours or you may dislodge the blood clots that will form.
- Don’t consume any hot beverages for 24 hours. Your mouth may lack sensitivity to heat and you may burn your mouth, so only room temperature or cool beverages should be consumed.
- Foods you may eat on the day of the surgery include applesauce, ice cream, juice, warm (not hot) mashed potatoes, warm (not hot) soup, scrambled eggs, and yogurt.
The Days Following Your Surgery
It may initially seem excessively cautious, but carefully following your aftercare instructions will ensure the best outcome for your procedure and your satisfaction with your new All-on-4® dental implants.
Tips for your recovery:
- Plan to consume soft foods for several days to a week after your procedure. Everyone heals at a different rate, so you’re the best judge of your dietary progression.
- If you had bone grafts, you should avoid acidic or carbonated food and beverages for two weeks so that your sutures don’t dissolve prematurely.
- You may experience swelling or stiffness for several days after your procedure. This is normal. Ice will help for the first 24 hours, but subsequently, it will have no effect. If you see no improvement in the stiffness or swelling after several days, then contact our office for help.
- You may experience numbness in your tongue and lower lip, but this should disappear during the healing process.
- Be sure to keep your sites clean. You may gently brush the areas and you should use your prescription mouthwash after each meal for the prescribed number of days. Brushing two to three times daily will ensure the best healing for your sites.
- Avoid vigorous exercise for four days, but you can resume moderate exercise thereafter and gradually resume your normal routine.
A Convenient, Long-Term Solution
All-on-4® dental implants may require a little more time to install than traditional dentures, but their long-term care requirements and their longevity make them an excellent alternative to traditional dentures. They’re also much more efficient than traditional implants.
Dental implants can increase your self-confidence and self-esteem because you’ll never again have to worry about your dentures slipping or falling out. No one will know that you’re wearing implants unless you tell them. Miami Perio is one of the best dental practices in South Florida for implants, so call today to schedule an appointment.