Getting dental implants can help you feel more positive about your smile and your appearance. Once they’re healed, it’s time to start caring for them so you can have a brilliant smile for years to come.
But post-surgery, how do you care for dental implants to ensure they stay in great shape?
If you have dental implants and you’re wanting some tips on caring for them, continue reading!
What Are Dental Implants?
Dental implants are a type of restorative dentistry that is used to fill in the gaps of missing teeth. They keep the structure of your jawbone and improve the functionality of your mouth overall. Unlike dentures, dental implants are permanent and are embedded into your jawbone.
The best part is they work like your natural teeth and blend in easily. Made of titanium, once the screw is inside the jawbone a hook is placed on top, which holds the false tooth in place. You can learn more about dental implants to find out if they’re a suitable treatment for you.
Caring For Dental Implants Post-Surgery
Implant surgery takes some time. It’s not a one-and-done appointment dentist visit. The surgical procedure may take a few months depending on how well you heal.
Here is what to expect post-surgery.
Once the implant is in the jawbone, recovery time begins. Your dentist will go over your care instructions with you. If you had anesthesia, you’ll want someone to drive you home.
You may have some gauze or bandage on your implant site that you’ll need to hold pressure to for an hour. You may continue to experience light bleeding, pain, and swelling for 24 hours or so. Drinking liquids is the best diet at this time to avoid further pain and swelling.
A few days later, you may want to try soft foods instead of just liquids and brush with a soft-bristle brush so as not to damage your implant. Your dentist will give you clearer instructions about your situation.
Once your dental implant has healed, you can resume normal activities! But it’s still important to care for your dental implant and maintain oral health.
When you care for your teeth, your entire body benefits. Bacteria and other pathogens enter your mouth via your hands, air, food, or other foreign objects. Without caring for your teeth, your gums recede, and that bacteria can enter the bloodstream causing other health problems.
Thankfully, tending to your dental implant is incredibly easy! Here are some of the best ways to continue to care for your dental implants.
Brushing and flossing are the key components to keeping those implants healthy. You want to brush and floss twice a day with a gentle toothpaste that’s non-abrasive. An electric toothbrush with soft bristles will give you the best clean, so it’s well worth the investment since you’re using it twice a day.
Floss normally with any type of floss you wish. Water flossing is a great option if you’ve never gotten the hang of flossing. Daily flossing goes a long way in ensuring the health of your implant.
If you have a gum stimulator, you can use that to encourage the growth of new healthy tissue.
One of the things that might change is your trips to the dentist. With dental implants instead of the two annual visits, you may need 3-4. This is because infections still happen, especially if you need dental implants due to a lack of oral hygiene.
Another thing that will keep your implant in place is to stop smoking or chewing tobacco. Smoking is detrimental to your health in general, but it weeks havoc on your teeth and contributes to gum disease by attacking the roots of the teeth. If you’re a smoker and you qualify for dental implants, your dentist will recommend that to salvage your implant and your oral health, that you stop smoking completely.
While infections and failures in dental implants are rare, they do occur. Peri-implantitis is gum disease or inflammation of the soft tissue and bone. You could even lose jaw bone tissue if it becomes serious.
Peri-implantitis happens because of lack of oral hygiene, smoking, or because the implant was inserted poorly.
Here are some of the signs:
- Swollen gums
- Shifting implant
Because of the great investment you’ve made in your dental implant, you want to do your absolute best to care for it (or them!) in any way possible. Consistent care and check-ups are two of the biggest factors you can practice. If you think there’s a problem with your implant in general, contact your dentist for help.
Who Is A Good Candidate for Dental Implants?
Generally speaking, most people qualify for dental implants. They do need to have healthy teeth and gums and have enough bone tissue in their jaw to keep the implant in place. If not, a bone graft might be needed.
However, some specific health conditions may discredit you from this treatment.
- Not enough jawbone tissue for stability
- Teeth grinder
- Blood clotting disorders
- Certain types of cancers
If you’re unsure about whether or not you’re eligible for dental implants, talk to your dentist.
Caring For Your Dental Implant
Post-surgery care for implants is of utmost importance. By taking part in the health of your dental implant means that you are likely to get the most mileage out of it for many, many years.
Are you curious about other ways to have stellar oral health? We’ve got the tips you need. Visit our health page today to learn more!