Your post-operative treatment plan will be focused on avoiding implant failure, and the single most common cause of dental implant failure is infection at the site.
While dental implants have a 98% success rate, the procedure is a surgical procedure nonetheless and carries with it some degree of risk. Your dentist will help you manage this risk in part by preparing you for surgery and educating you as much as possible. Your role is to follow the instructions carefully to ensure a full and rapid recovery.
When successful, dental implants are hugely beneficial and can improve your quality of life significantly. With proper care. your dental implants could last for the rest of your lifetime. Let’s have a look at how you can ensure you reap the full benefits.
What To Expect After Dental Implant Surgery
Most patients find that any discomfort after their surgery is mild, particularly in cases where digital dental implants have been used. Any discomfort or swelling can usually be managed by over-the-counter medications. All your efforts should be focused on recovery and allowing your wound to heal.
Pain, discomfort or swelling
If you have had a traditional implant procedure some degree of swelling and discomfort is to be expected. You might also experience a bit of bleeding from your gums too. It is normal to have a bit of blood in your saliva in the 24-hours following your procedure. Any minor bleeding can be managed by applying a wad of gauze with light pressure.
Swelling can be managed using a cold press or ice pack, held up against your cheek. Do not put ice directly onto the implant site.
Any bruising, bleeding or swelling ought to improve in the days following your surgery. If at any point, any of your symptoms seem to get worse, make sure you contact your dentist immediately.
Dental Implant Aftercare Instructions
Eating and drinking
You will only eat soft foods like smoothies, soups and omelettes in the days after surgery. You should also avoid eating or drinking very hot or cold beverages, as this can dislodge the blood clot that forms over the site.
Don’t forget to drink lots of water as this can assist speeding up tissue repair.
Get all the rest you can, because this also helps your body with recovery.
Cleaning your mouth
It is very important that you avoid the site of the implant when brushing your teeth after dental implant surgery. Your dentist will probably recommend that you avoid brushing your teeth for the first 24-hours after surgery. After the first day you will be able to rinse with salt water or mouthwash.
Do not touch or run your tongue across the site of your implant either. It is possible for the blood clot to be dislodged, and this is very painful because it exposes your nerves and bone. It can cause very intense pain for a long time. You should also avoid drinking through a straw after surgery for this reason.
Do not smoke in the days after your surgery, as smoking can cause complications during your recovery.
It is essential to keep your mouth clean, and smoking interferes with this. Over time, tobacco also discolours implants and increases your chances of developing an infection.
Take your medicines
You may not feel the need for painkillers, but do remember to take the antibiotics your dentist will give you, as these are intended to prevent infection.
Avoid strenuous exercise and physical activity
This can cause pressure at the site of your implant and exacerbate any pain you might be feeling.
Visit your dentist regularly
Your dentist will need to check up on your progress and recovery – so don’t forget any of your appointments. If you have any questions or concerns, our friendly dentists are just a phone call away.
Dental Implant Hygiene
Once your implant site has healed, you will care for your implant in much the same way as the rest of your natural teeth. This means
- Brushing at least twice a day, using a toothbrush with soft bristles. Using only a low abrasion toothpaste
- Flossing every day
- Using an oral irrigator
- Making use of an interproximal brush to ensure you clean all the hard to reach places
- Visiting your dentist for regular check ups and cleaning.
Keeping your mouth free of plaque and tartar minimises your chance of infection.
You may find your mouth feels sensitive in the weeks following surgery once the site has started to heal.
Dental Implant Aftercare Three To Six Months After Surgery
It takes a few months for your dental implant to fuse to your jaw bone –for most people it’s three to six months after surgery. This is a crucial time for the implant so it’s important that you are very careful when you eat, and avoid hard, crunchy or sticky foods.
Dental Implant Care After Osseo-Integration
Once your implant and jaw bone have fused, you can start to eat without restrictions again. Because the implant has become part of your jaw it can withstand the same biting and chewing forces as your natural teeth. one of the features that makes implants so popular is their permanence and their close resemblance to natural teeth.
To get dental implant aftercare tips personalised to your particular needs please get in touch with us.