Have you lost a tooth recently? If so, it’s essential to replace it as soon as possible to prevent jawbone deterioration. Lost teeth can also cause a poor bite, an unattractive smile, and misalignments.
When considering replacement treatments, dental implants are a viable option. Unlike alternate options like bridges and dentures, dental implants restore a lost tooth’s look, stability, and appearance. Similarly, with proper care and habits, implants can last a lifetime.
Placing a dental implant requires surgery. The dentist drills into the jawbone and attaches the implant post to replace the missing tooth’s root. The bone is supposed to heal around the implant, giving it the stability and strength of a natural tooth. Later, a dental crown that acts as the outer crown goes over the implant. Contact us for dental implants near you.
Dental Implant Aftercare Instructions
Since implants require surgery, special aftercare is essential to manage post-surgery side effects, prevent infections, and promote faster healing. Below are tips for caring for your implants and mouth after implant surgery:
- Don’t consume anything when still numb.
After implant surgery, it might take a while for anesthesia to wear off. You should wait until the anesthesia wears off completely before eating. Since the mouth feeling sensors are off, there’s a higher risk of burning your mouth, biting your cheeks or tongue, or disturbing the surgical area. It can also aggravate some symptoms like nausea and vomiting.
- Take medication as prescribed.
After the anesthesia wears off, expect minor discomfort and swelling. Fortunately, your dentist will prescribe medication to manage these symptoms and prevent infections. Always follow the dentist’s instructions when taking medication.
- Ice therapy
Along with medications, you can manage pain and swelling using ice packs. Ice numbs the area and slows blood flow, reducing pain and swelling. Place an ice pack on the cheek outside the surgical area at intervals of 15 minutes.
- Eat a soft diet.
After surgery, the area around the implant will be sensitive for the next few days. During this time, stick to fluids and a soft food diet that requires no to little chewing. These include yogurt, mashed eggs, soft vegetables, soups, milkshakes, and soft pasta. If you need to chew, be sure to chew on the side against the one with the implant.
Be sure to choose healthy foods rich in vitamins and other essential nutrients. Avoid foods that raise blood sugars, blood pressure, and cholesterol. You don’t need that after your implant surgery!
- Avoid tobacco use.
Smoking after surgery can constrict blood and oxygen flow to the soft tissues, affecting your immune system and impairing the body’s natural ability to heal. It also increases the risk of infections around the implant, leading to implant failure and other complications.
- Rest adequately.
Although they operate on only a minor part of your body, you still need to rest adequately to allow your body to heal faster. Lifting heavy objects or exercising can cause significant pressure at the surgical site, causing unnecessary pain, swelling, or bleeding. When going for surgery, organize with a friend or family member to drive you home and care for you for a while.
- Don’t consume hot, spicy, and hard foods.
Since the surgical site will be sensitive for a while, you must avoid any activities that can disturb the site. When eating, avoid hot, spicy, hard, and sticky foods. These foods can irritate your gums, disturb the surgical site, encourage infections, and lead to bleeding.
- Take care of your mouth.
Regarding dental hygiene after implant surgery, follow your dentist’s or surgeon’s instructions on when you can begin normal brushing and flossing. When you start, be sure to brush gently around the implant. After 24 hours, you can rinse your mouth with warm salty water to prevent infections.
- Notify your dentist if something feels wrong.
Contact your surgeon or visit an emergency clinic near you if you experience severe or persistent symptoms like pain, swelling, bleeding, and fever.