Have you been considering getting dental implants in San Antonio and now ready to move forward? If this is you, you probably have about a million questions rummaging around your mind. It may even be making you a bit apprehensive about what the next move is. Wondering what to expect during and after surgery and trying not to freak out about any potential complications.
In other words, relax—we’re going to walk you through an overview from initial consultation to post-surgery care. When you’re at Stone Ridge, we answer the questions you didn’t even know you needed the answers to. So, strap in, and let’s drill down on dental implants—sorry, no pun intended.
The Step-by-Step Guide For Dental Implants In San Antonio
Getting dental implants in San Antonio while sounding complex, really is a straightforward procedure. The entire process starts with a precursor to the surgery. We will schedule a consultation that is free if you visit Stone Ridge Dental. However, other dentists may charge for this consultation so keep that in mind. This initial step will determine if you are both a good candidate for implants and if you want to move forward.
After you arrive and discuss the process a bit, Dr. Monarres will have one of the staff get some imaging of your mouth. This is used to determine whether or not your jawbone is healthy enough for dental implants as well as check for problems. This is a critical step before moving forward to the first step of committing to dental implant surgery.
The dentist needs to replicate your teeth, gums, and the tissue surrounding your teeth to create a custom-fit implant. Our staff will fill the proper size impression tray and fill it with a soft liquid—usually polyvinyl siloxane or alginate. This liquid fills up a u-shaped impression tray and you will bite down into the liquid. It will solidify rather quickly at which point you can open your mouth as the impressions are done. It will be sent to our lab for processing and building your new dental implants.
One thing to remember…
Most people have zero problems with their impressions. However, some with a sensitive gag reflex or anxiety may have trouble. We can sit here and tell you don’t think about it, but that’s not going to work. The best solution is to ask for nitrous—it will calm and relieve you more than you can imagine. It won’t make you drowsy or loopy—just very relaxed.
Now, in some cases, a patient still has the tooth or teeth that need to be replaced. Usually, this is because they are failing but haven’t fallen out on their own. In this case, it will need to be extracted, but that can be done at the time of surgery too. We provide the best anesthesiologists on-site if you prefer sedation, but usually, a local anesthetic is sufficient for a painless procedure.
Once the tooth is extracted you will be asked to restrict certain activities for the next 72 hours. Drinking through a straw, smoking, spitting excessively, or blowing your nose. Either one of these activities can lead to a dry socket which is quite painful.
With the tooth extracted, Dr. Monarres will drill a small hole into your jawbone where the root previously was. It will feel like drilling a cavity for a filling, and if sedated, well—you won’t feel anything at all. Some cases might require cutting away some of the gum tissue to access the jawbone. In these cases, sutures will be used to seal up the wound area.
The implant will be embedded deep into the jaw as much as a natural root since this will serve as a new root.
If your jawbone is healthy but just a little soft, a bone graft may be needed. If so, it can be done with artificial materials and is a very minor part of the procedure.
We do ask that you bring someone with you to your surgery as you will not be allowed to drive home. Your daily routine will be altered a bit such as being restricted to soft foods for about a week minimum.
As your jawbone recovers it will grow bone around the implant and fuse with it. This can take a few weeks or a few months. There is no set timeframe as it differs with each patient and with certain conditions such as diabetes—can take even longer. The abutment serves as a connection for the restorative crown—the part of the replacement tooth that is visible.
The abutment is tightened with a special torque wrench only used in dentistry so it remains secure under the pressure of chewing. Not to worry, again—anesthesia will be made available.
In some procedures such as All on Four, the abutment is placed at the same time as the implant. For traditional implants though, it is a separate visit.
This is the easy part—you come in, the crown is attached to the abutment, cemented down firm and you’re done. No one will be able to tell it’s an implant unless you tell them yourself!
Does Getting Dental Implants In San Antonio Hurt?
No, most patients who get implants with Stone Ridge or other dentists feel no pain at all during the procedure. However, you may feel some drill vibration, some pressure, and a lot of instruments in your mouth. If you choose sedation—you don’t feel a thing.
Once the anesthesia has worn off after the procedure—you will feel some slight discomfort. Some describe it as minor pain and it’s usually remedied with Tylenol. Most patients return to work the following day.
After your procedure is completed you do need to follow Dr. Monarres’ post-op care instructions carefully. Failing to do so can complicate recovery and even cause implant failure.
Your Jaw Still Needs To Heal
Even with All on Four, your jawbone still needs time to heal and fuse with the implants. If you expect this to be over within a couple of days you will be disappointed. While it’s true that you can go back to work you still want to be careful. Go easy on brushing, keep it gentle, and make sure you use mouthwash regularly to avoid infection. This will help foster a good solid fusion with the implants.
Stick To The Diet Plan
You will need to stick to soft foods for at least a week. Also, cease smoking if you are a smoker, and avoid certain foods such as:
- Hard candy
- Crunchy foods (Corn Nuts, Doritos, Almonds, etc..)
- Sugary drinks and snacks (sugar slows healing)
- Spicy or acidic foods (they may irritate the surgical wound sites)
No Smoking, Dipping, or Vaping—NONE
We cannot stress enough how critical it is not to use any tobacco or smoke alternatives such as vaping. These activities can grossly delay your recovery time and cause possible implant failure. If that happens you have to start the process all over. You need to hold off on these activities for at least a week—longer would be better. After all, it will prolong your overall health as well if you stop.
Stop By Walgreens Or Local Pharmacy
You will be prescribed antibiotics to prevent any infection of the sites. You also might consider some Aleve as well for light pain.
Dental Implants In San Antonio By Dr. Monarres
If you want the best odds of being satisfied with your new smile—you need to get dental implants from Dr. Monarres. With thousands of successful procedures in his portfolio, Dr. Monarres has rectified smile issues of all kinds. From minor issues with alignment and decay to major issues such as turned and inverted teeth.
Contact us today to schedule your free consultation and get on the road to smiling again!