What you can expect

By Mayo Clinic Staff

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During the procedure

The pillar procedure is performed in the surgeon's office, where you'll likely be seated leaning backward, similarly to how you're seated when your teeth are cleaned. During the procedure, which takes less than 30 minutes, the surgeon:

  • Applies a topical anesthetic to your soft palate to numb the area for the injection
  • Injects the area with a local anesthetic, which may sting
  • Positions the first implant
  • Inserts the first implant, which has its own disposable insertion device
  • Repeats the last two steps two more times

After the procedure

Your doctor may ask you to sit for a few minutes to be sure you're not experiencing significant bleeding or swelling. You should be able to resume normal activities and eat normally that same day.

Your doctor may prescribe an anti-inflammatory pain medication to keep down swelling and help with any pain you feel after the anesthetic wears off. He or she may also ask you to use an antiseptic rinse for several days and take an antibiotic to prevent infection.

Apr. 22, 2014