March 30, 2021
One of the great things about living in the 21st century is the fact that missing teeth can be a thing of the past. There are several different options when it comes to filling in those gaps in your smile, with a preferred method being dental implants. After your procedure, it is important that you care for your implants properly so that they are able to heal with ease. Continue reading to learn some dental implant aftercare tips so that your new pearly whites will be strong and healthy!
Control the Bleeding
You may notice that there is some bleeding from the implant site for up to 72 hours after your implant is placed. In order to minimize this, try biting down on gauze for about an hour. Continue to do this about every 6 to 10 hours, as necessary. You could also try biting down on a moist, black teabag in order to allow the area to clot more easily.
Swelling and bruising is fairly common the day after surgery. In order to reduce this, place an icepack on your cheek for about 15 to 20 minutes at a time. Drink plenty of water and try sleeping in a propped-up position.
Manage Your Discomfort
Just like any procedure, you will probably feel some discomfort afterwards while your body is healing. Fortunately, this will subside a few days after your surgery. Until then, use an over-the-counter pain reliever that your dentist recommends. Some common ones include acetaminophen and ibuprofen. You should begin taking it just before the local anesthetic wears off.
Get Plenty of Rest
While most patients are able to return to work after a couple of days, if you have a physically demanding job, you should probably wait about a week before returning to your job. Getting at least 8 hours of sleep each night is essential. When you are well-rested, the healing process goes much more smoothly.
Maintain Excellent Oral Hygiene
It is especially important to keep your mouth clean during the healing period. If you aren’t keeping the area as clean as possible, you are more likely to experience an infection. This is the number one cause of dental implant failures. You should be brushing and flossing as you usually do, just avoid the site of the procedure. After each meal, rinse your mouth with a warm glass of water with a teaspoon of salt mixed in to wash away debris.
Eat Soft Foods
You should avoid hard, crunchy, and chewy foods during the initial healing process. Remember that you should chew on the side of your mouth where your natural teeth are. Avoid foods that are particularly hot and do not use a straw.
Don’t Smoke or Drink
Do not drink alcohol or smoke. This can negatively impact the healing process. Avoid alcoholic beverages for at least 72 hours and refrain from smoking for at least two months after your surgery.
Post-op care may seem like a handful, but by following the tips listed above and seeing your dentist regularly, you will be showing off your new, restored smile in no time!
About the Author
Dr. Brenda Gong is an experienced dentist who has been working in the field for nearly 15 years. She earned her Doctor of Dental Surgery from the University of North Caroline at Chapel Hill. She is extensively trained in implantology and is committed to completing continuing education courses each year. Currently, she is a Fellow of the International Congress of Oral Implantologists and a member of numerous professional organizations, including the Academy of Osseointegration and the American Dental Society of Anesthesiology. For more information on dental implant or to schedule an appointment at her office in Angier, visit her website or call (919) 639-3911.
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