Dental implants are one of the best investments in your oral health you can make after losing one or several teeth. Not only do they restore the missing root of your tooth, but they offer amazing benefits that help you enjoy life to the fullest, just like with natural teeth. If you’ve already got your dental implant procedure scheduled or you’re in the middle of researching whether it’s right for you, knowing what to expect after the procedure as far as aftercare goes can help immensely. Check out these dental implants aftercare tips from our Anchorage dental implants dentist for a stress-free recovery.
Keep Your Mouth Clean After Surgery
One of the most important aspects of your dental implant recovery is aftercare. Proper aftercare is essential for preventing your implants from failing and from running into any problems. As part of your aftercare instructions, keeping your mouth clean will be your number one priority. There are a few steps to keeping your mouth and dental implants clean.
Brushing your teeth after your surgery will be a little different than what you’re used to. Gently brush your teeth and avoid the surgical site as best as you can. This means that you shouldn’t carelessly brush your teeth, otherwise, you might accidentally touch the surgical site which can cause you pain and potentially cause you to start bleeding again. Once the tenderness in the surgical site subsides, feel free to brush a little bit closer to the area.
Next, regularly rinse your mouth with saltwater in the first week after surgery. Saltwater helps keep the wound clean and helps promote healing.
Manage Pain and Swelling After Surgery
It’s normal to experience some level of discomfort and swelling after your dental implant procedure. To minimize pain, there are a few actions you can take. First, take over the counter pain medications. If we prescribed you pain medicine, follow the instructions on the bottle, and take it as needed. Next, apply an ice pack or something frozen wrapped in a towel to your face for ten minutes. This will not only help with pain but also swelling. After a 20 minute break, apply the ice again. The pain and swelling will subside after a few day’s time.
The Best Foods and Drinks Post-Surgery
After your surgery, you won’t be back to eating your favorite crunchy foods anytime soon. On the first day, we recommend sticking to a liquid and soft diet. Try not to swish any liquid around in your mouth as it might agitate the surgical site. On the second day, depending on how you feel, you can start introducing foods that require more chewing into your diet. Just don’t go from liquids to popcorn overnight. Slowly reintroduce crunchier foods in your diet.
Whatever you do, don’t smoke. Smoking can cause your dental implants to fail after surgery. Dr. Skinner will advise you when it’s safe to continue smoking again. Although, any smoking habit puts you at risk for dental implant failure.
Take Your Antibiotics
If we prescribe you antibiotics to take following your surgery, make sure to take them. These are to prevent infection from occurring. If an infection does occur, it can increase the risk of dental implant failure.
Know When to Call Us
If problems occur, it’s important to contact us. If you notice any of the following symptoms, it means your implant might be failing.
- Pain and swelling that continues to get worse
- Nerve damage – tingling or numbness in face, tongue, gums, or lips
- Fever and chills
- Protruding implant in the sinus cavity
- Pus or foul taste in the mouth
- An allergic reaction to titanium – swelling, loss of taste, or tingling sensation
Don’t Skip Follow-Up Appointments
Visiting us for aftercare is an essential step of your dental implant aftercare process. During these appointments, we check on the progress of your healing and determine if any problems are present. Don’t skip these appointments or you might run into trouble if a problem goes untreated.
Keep Physical Activity to a Minimum
Don’t jump back into your regular exercise routine following your implant surgery. You should avoid strenuous activity for at least 48 hours after implant surgery.
Wear Your Temporary Restorations
While you wait for your surgical site to heal, we will provide you with a temporary restoration to wear to replace your missing tooth or teeth. This will allow you to continue about life able to chew and smile without feeling self-conscious.
Complete healing can take up to six months after implant surgery. It’s important to stay patient because once you’re healed and your permanent restoration is in place, you will be thankful for your results!
Take Good Care of Permanent Restorations
After you’re healed and the permanent restoration is in place, continue taking great care of your oral health. This means brushing twice a day and flossing. Maintaining good oral hygiene is crucial for extending the lifespan of your dental implant.
If you have any questions about these dental implants aftercare tips or you would like to learn more about our dental implants procedure in Anchorage at Excellence in Dentistry, please contact our dental office at (907) 349-0022. We’re happy to answer your questions or book an upcoming consultation with Dr. Skinner.