I have a split upper lip due to a prior surgery gone wrong. In the meantime, I caught an infection under my gums that cracked majority of my teeth, and 14 of them needed to be extracted, only the bones exist! Should I have dental implants first before reconstructive surgery for lips? I'm 45 years old, single mom of 3, and have totally lost all my self-esteem due to this misfortune! We live in a cruel world and I need some help, fast! I can't take not being myself no more! ADVICE PLEASE! Thank You!
Dental Implants First Before Reconstructive Surgery for Split Upper Lip?
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Sequence for lip surgery and implant placement?
Soft tissue (lip) is much more difficult to control in terms of its final results. There are various factors that influence its success as well as its final appearance. While you may do either first (I don't think there is a right or wrong here) it may make more sense to do the reconstructive procedure on the lip and allow it to heal. Once the final outcome is achieved, then teeth can be placed and complement the soft tissue form. The decision to do which first should be based on the type of defect and predictability of the outcomes and I think a collaboration between surgeons can determine the best sequence.
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Find a restorative team you are comfortable with
You should find a restorative/surgical (dental) team that you are comfortable with. All the remaining root tips, fractured teeth should be extracted with as much "ridge preservation/bone grafting as possible" (bone graft to maintain the shape of your existing dental bone) . The restorative dentist should be ready to temporize you at this stage , most likely with a removable appliance. The lip work can be done as this is going on. Depending on the state of the dental bone, a dental scan should be performed at 8-10 weeks after the dental extractions mentioned above. Only at this stage, should one plan the potential for more grafting and the placement of dental implants. I know this may sound overwhelming, however the right dental team can make this a pretty smooth transition.
Advice for Full Mouth Implants and Lip Surgery
First, you should make sure you are using an experienced dentist/surgeon team for your case. My recommendation would be to have the implants and implant restorations placed first, because the final restorations (teeth/crowns/denture) will offer lip support. Once you have the final restorations, you will know the final lip resting position, and your surgeon can start from this stable position.
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I believe that you should do the implants first as long as the bone under these teeth is healthy enough for implants. Sometimes the patient doesnt get to choose the timing of treatment due to healing and bone health.
After the implants are done, then the lip line and possibly lip fillers could be much more easily evaluated.
Timing of dental implants with other services can be tricky
Often the time to place dental implants is important, yet sometimes it is less critical. It takes time to have implants placed and for the body to accept them and fuse. In the meantime, the other surgeries may be completed and the restorative work done at the end.
I would consult with the surgeons involved and see what they say. Some surgeries are best done simultaneously.