Dental Implants: Essential Dos and Don’ts of Aftercare
Dental implants are the best means of restoring your missing, decayed, or damaged teeth. They are designed to look and function like your original teeth. Implant teeth are biocompatible and not vulnerable to disease or decay.
However, you should maintain and take care of your dental implants like your real teeth to ensure that they last longer.
Basics of the Dental Implant Procedure
Dental implants have revolutionized the field of dentistry, offering a durable and natural-looking solution for individuals with missing teeth. The dental implant procedure involves a series of steps that result in the placement of an artificial tooth root and a prosthetic tooth, providing both functional and aesthetic benefits.
Here’s an overview of the key stages involved in the dental implant procedure.
The process begins with a comprehensive consultation with a qualified implant dentist. During this consultation, the dentist assesses the patient’s oral health, reviews their medical history, takes scans, and determines the suitability of dental implants.
Based on the evaluation, a personalized treatment plan is developed. This plan outlines the number of implants needed, the type of restoration (crown, bridge, or denture), and the possible timeline for the procedure.
The next step involves surgically placing the dental implant into the jawbone. This implant serves as an artificial tooth root and is typically made of biocompatible materials. The surgery is usually performed under local anesthesia, and the implant is positioned precisely within the bone.
After the dental implant placement, your denturist may immediately place the denture abundant or wait for a healing phase. The implant site will require an initial healing phase regardless.
Regular follow-up appointments are scheduled to monitor the healing process and assess the implant’s stability and the overall success of the procedure. Proper dental implant aftercare is absolutely essential to maintain a clean and healthy surgical site and avoid implant failure.
Dental Implant Aftercare: Essential Dos and Don’ts
After the successful completion of the dental implant procedure, proper aftercare is essential to ensure the longevity and health of the implant.
Here are some important dental implant aftercare tips to follow during the post-operative and healing phase:
What to Do
Avoiding infection and implant failure starts with good oral hygiene and following these tips. Don’t be afraid to take the recommended pain medication or use ice packs, as well.
Brush and Floss Diligently
Brush your implant teeth at least twice a day, preferably after meals, using a soft-bristled toothbrush. Gentle flossing is equally important to remove debris from hard-to-reach areas. Consider using interdental brush heads for effective cleaning around the gumline and implants.
Opt for a Water Flosser
Consider using a Waterpik flosser or unwaxed floss to keep your gums and implant areas clean. This helps reduce the risk of gingivitis and bleeding while promoting gum health.
Choose Your Diet Wisely
Avoid sugary foods that can contribute to plaque formation and compromise your gum health. Slice fruits and large food pieces into smaller portions before eating to prevent unnecessary stress on your implant teeth.
Consume Soft Foods Initially
After surgery, stick to a diet of soft foods such as mashed potatoes, creamy soups, yogurt, applesauce, and milkshakes. This helps prevent any strain on your implant sites while allowing proper healing.
Use ADA-Accepted Toothpaste
Select a toothpaste with the ADA seal of acceptance or one that contains fluoride. This ensures you’re using a toothpaste that is safe and effective for your implant teeth.
Antimicrobial Mouth Rinse
Incorporate an antimicrobial mouth rinse containing chlorhexidine gluconate into your routine. This type of rinse targets bacteria that cause plaque, tartar, and gingivitis, promoting a healthier mouth.
Schedule Regular Dental Visits
Don’t skip dental appointments. Regular examinations and cleanings allow your dentist to monitor the health of your implants, detect issues early, and provide professional cleaning to maintain their longevity.
What Not to Do
It’s obvious that you need to maintain proper oral hygiene, but the details of what to do to keep your gum tissue healthy can be confusing. Here are the activities/actions that most patients should avoid.
Avoid Abrasive Toothpaste
Steer clear of toothpaste with activated charcoal, baking soda, or formulations designed for brightening or whitening. These can be abrasive and potentially damage your implant teeth’s surfaces.
Skip Straws and Spitting
Immediately after surgery, avoid using straws and refrain from spitting forcefully. These actions can disrupt the healing process and potentially lead to complications. This will also be painful after local anesthetic wears off.
Say No to Smoking
Quit smoking if you’re a smoker. Smoking can impede healing, increase the risk of infection, and compromise the long-term success of your implants.
Don’t Use Implants as Tools
Never use your implant teeth to open packages, cans, or bottles. Applying excessive pressure in this way can damage the implant or its restoration.
Avoid Hard and Sticky Foods
For a period after surgery, avoid hard, crunchy, and sticky foods. Foods like gummy candies, popcorn kernels, ice, and taffy can place unnecessary stress on your implant sites and hinder the healing process.
Stay Away from Sugary Treats
Steer clear of sugary snacks and treats, especially those that are sticky. Sugary foods can contribute to plaque buildup and compromise the health of your gums. Also, don’t drink alcohol, as this can harm the healing process and disrupt the formation of your blood clot.
Effective Dental Implant Aftercare With European Denture Center
To have a smooth and pleasant recovery after your dental implant surgery, follow these dos and don’ts very carefully. Once you get through the initial healing phase, you’ll be able to follow a mostly normal diet and won’t be at risk for severe pain.
At European Denture Center, we prioritize not only the success of your dental implant surgery but also your well-being during the recovery phase. Our goal is to leave you with beautiful, natural-looking teeth so that you can confidently smile again.
Contact us today to take the first step toward functional teeth.
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European Denture Center provides high-quality, affordable, personalized and comfortable dentures and partials. Our dentures and implants are customized to match your needs and budget. Give us a call at (208) 584-5433 for the Idaho office, (208) 459-2253 for the Caldwell office, and (425) 689-7381 for the Washington office to schedule a free consultation.