Dental implants are a popular restoration method for missing teeth, however they are not right for everybody. Therefore, if you have been wanting to get dental implants, it is recommended that you should schedule a consultation with your local implant dentist so that they can evaluate your case and determine if you are an ideal candidate for dental implant placement.
During a dental implant consultation, your implant dentist will evaluate the condition of your teeth and gums, as well as your jawbone. Dental x-rays are usually taken to determine if there is enough bone mass present to safely place dental implants. This is especially important if there are one or more missing teeth. Sometimes a CBCT scan may also be necessary to obtain more information about the surrounding tissues. You can also expect your implant dentist to discuss your medical history and treatment goals.
Since a consultation is an important and necessary first step to having dental implants placed, it is recommended that you take some time before your appointment to prepare. This will make your consultation go smoother and will allow you to get as much information as possible during the time spent with your dentist. Here are three ways you can prepare for your implant consultation:
Organize Your Medical History
The placement of dental implants requires a minor oral surgery performed under varying levels of sedation. Because of this, your implant dentist will need to know your medical history to make sure you are healthy enough to be placed under sedation and undergo the surgery. Your medical history can also affect your recovery and how long it takes your body to heal. In order to determine your candidacy for dental implants, as well as to plan your treatment, your implant dentist will need to know of any past or current medical conditions, current medications or supplements, and whether you have any allergies.
Think About Questions
Another great way to prepare for your dental implant consultation is to consider any questions you may have about the process and write them down. Not only will this keep you from forgetting your questions, but it will also allow you to get information about specific concerns that you have about dental implants. Knowing what to expect while getting dental implants can make you feel more comfortable about the procedure. To get your questions list started, here are a few questions you may want to ask:
- Are dental implants the best restorative option for me?
- What happens during the procedure and how long will it take?
- How much time do I need to take off work?
- How long is the recovery process?
- What should I expect during recovery?
- Do I need a bone graft or tooth extraction before having implants placed?
- How much will it cost and what are my payment options?
Expect an Exam
The final way to prepare for your dental implant consultation is to come prepared for a brief exam by brushing and flossing before your consultation. During this exam, your implant dentist will examine your teeth and gums for any signs of tooth decay or gum disease. Depending on what they find, they may recommend that certain things be taken care of before having dental implants placed to reduce the risk of implant complication or failure. For example, severely decayed teeth may need to be removed, and gum disease may need to be treated. As part of this exam, you can also expect to have dental x-rays taken, so it may be helpful to leave all jewelry at home and avoid wearing metal objects around your face.
Irfan Atcha, DDS, DICOI, DADIA at New Teeth Chicago Dental in Chicago, Illinois is a board-certified general dentist and a nationally recognized expert in dental implants, cosmetic dentistry, and sedation dentistry.