August 10, 2020
Unlike other tooth replacement options, restoring your smile with dental implants is a multistep process. It even extends after your dental implants have been placed! While this state-of-the-art tooth replacement treatment has an astonishing success rate of 95%, their success largely depends to how well you care for your mouth after surgery. Here are a few important dental implant aftercare tips to keep in mind that will help keep your mouth healthy and your new smile firmly in place for many years to come!
1.) Control Bleeding
It’s completely normal to experience some bleeding for up to 72 hours after your dental implant surgery. To control it, gently bite down on a piece of gauze and repeat every six to ten hours as needed. Avoid being active, vigorous mouth rinsing, and using a straw to prevent dislodging the forming blood clot.
2.) Manage Post-Op Soreness
Before the local anesthesia from your treatment wears off, start taking pain relievers as directed by your dentist. Most experts believe that the best over-the-counter pain medication to take after dental implant surgery is Tylenol, but your dentist will give you their recommendations for your unique situation. Discomfort should ease within four days after your surgery.
3.) Minimize Swelling & Bruising
Swelling and bruising in your face and mouth is a natural part of the healing process. Typically, you’ll begin to notice it the day after your surgery. Apply an ice pack or cold compress for 15-20 minutes at a time until most of the swelling has gone down.
4.) Get Plenty of Rest
The healing process can go faster while you are resting in bed. Avoid physical exertion and strenuous exercise for at least a week to help it go smoothly.
5.) Practice Great Oral Hygiene
Protecting the implant site from bacteria is key to preventing an infection from developing. Brush your teeth the night of your surgery, but be careful to avoid touching the implant. You should also rinse your mouth out with warm saltwater after every meal to clear away food debris and sanitize your mouth.
6.) Watch What You Eat
Try to avoid eating or drinking anything directly after your surgery until you regain feeling in your mouth. Hot beverages can irritate the implant site, so opt for lukewarm or cold drinks to stay hydrated instead. Stick to a liquid or soft-food only diet for at least a week.
7.) Keep Track of Your Symptoms
If you have any concerns about how your mouth is healing, don’t hesitate to contact your dentist right away. Spotting issues as early as possible is vital for the long-term success of your implant. Your dentist may recommend antibiotics, a change in lifestyle, or a cleaning to keep your mouth healthy as it heals.
Restoring your smile with dental implants may take more time than options like dentures or dental bridges, but the results are well worth it. Before you know it, you’ll be enjoying a healthy complete set of pearly whites that can last for many decades to come!
About the Author
Dr. C.J. Landry of Lapalco Family Dental has been serving the smiles of Marrero, LA and the surrounding communities since 1978. He has completed thousands of hours of continuing education in advanced topics, including dental implant surgery and restoration. If you’d like to learn more about what to expect from the dental implant process, he’d be happy to answer your questions via his website or at (504) 348-0080.
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