There are several good reasons why a teenager may need dental implants. Maybe they suffered a traumatic injury to their jaw that cost them one or more teeth, or maybe they have congenitally missing teeth. Maybe you’re just trying to spare your child self-confidence issues.
Regardless of the reason, if you’ve made the decision together with a qualified dental professional that your teenager needs dental implants, great. But that’s only half the battle. Although this is generally a very safe procedure with little to no risk of complications, it’s still a surgical procedure that you should prepare your child for.
Here are 3 ways to prepare your teenager for dental implant surgery.
Explain the Procedure
Uncertainty is a major contributor to fear and anxiety so explaining what exactly getting a dental implant entails is an effective way to prepare your child.
Explain how the implant is a small titanium post that will be surgically placed into the jawbone to replace the missing tooth’s root. Once the implant is in place, the bone will grow around it and hold it securely. Then, a new artificial tooth is attached to the implant, giving them a strong and long-lasting replacement tooth that looks and feels like a real one.
If you’re not great at explaining things, you can always ask your oral surgeon for help, or even find an online video from a qualified professional explaining the entire procedure. Thanks to the internet you can get this information from an expert who specializes in dental implants in Rockville or any other location with an internet connection.
Come Up With a Plan to Manage Anxiety Together
Next, it’s a good idea to discuss anxiety management with your teenager and develop a plan that works best for them as different techniques work for different people.
First, talk about specific triggers that cause their anxiety about dental implant surgery whether that’s fear of pain from needles or worries about the outcome of the surgery. Once you’ve identified the triggers, you can develop coping strategies such as deep breathing exercises, visualization techniques, or relaxing stretching techniques. Then encourage your teenager to practice these coping strategies regularly so they become more familiar with them.
If you’re struggling, consider reaching out to a therapist who specializes in working with teens with anxiety.
Prepare for Aftercare
Aftercare is an essential part of any successful dental implant surgery. After the procedure, your teenager will need to follow a strict aftercare routine to ensure that the implants heal correctly.
Discuss the routine with them, emphasizing why they need to follow it. You also want to encourage them to ask questions so that they feel confident and comfortable with the process.
A typical aftercare routine for dental implant surgery includes:
- Taking prescribed pain medication as directed by the dentist
- Applying ice packs to reduce swelling
- Avoiding hard, chewy, or crunchy foods for the first few days
- Gently brushing and flossing around the implant area to maintain good oral hygiene
- Avoiding smoking
Preparing your teenager for dental implants involves explaining the procedure, managing anxiety, and preparing for aftercare. With your help and support, your teenager can successfully navigate the dental implant process and enjoy the benefits of a healthy, beautiful smile.