Dental implants serve as artificial tooth roots that are surgically implanted into the jaw to hold prosthetic teeth or bridges. More than 120 million people in the U.S. are missing at least one tooth, according to the American College of Prosthodontists. In addition, 36 percent of Americans have no teeth.
Dental implants have a high success rate and can provide patients with long-term benefits, such as the restored ability to chew and the preservation of surrounding bone and gums. Dental implants can also improve the appearance of your smile.
Learn more about aftercare and maintenance, and what to expect as you’re healing from your procedure.
Properly caring for your dental implants immediately after surgery can help reduce swelling, bleeding, and surgical site discomfort. During this postoperative period, avoid touching the implant. Keep your head elevated for at least 10 to 12 hours after surgery and take any medications prescribed by your dentist.
Eating After Dental Implant Surgery
Use caution when eating following dental implant surgery. For at least the first day, stick to soft foods like smoothies, yogurt, pudding, and ice cream. Avoid drinking and eating hot drinks and foods for several days. It’s also best to avoid spicy foods, carbonated drinks, smoking, spitting, and using straws as these things can lead to complications.
Maintaining excellent oral hygiene after dental implant surgery can help minimize your risk of infection and other complications. Cleaning implants is similar to cleaning your natural teeth.
Use a soft-bristled toothbrush to gently clean the area, followed by an antimicrobial rinse. However, you’ll want to avoid rinsing your mouth or spitting for the first 24 to 48 hours. During this period, carefully swish warm salt water in your mouth several times a day, allowing the water to naturally run out of the mouth rather than spitting.
Professional Cleaning and Examination
Along with proper at-home oral care, you’ll want to continue visiting your Melbourne Florida dentist for regular exams and cleanings. During dental teeth cleaning, your dentist will examine the implant and the surrounding gum and bone to determine if it is healing properly. A dental hygienist will also give the implant and other teeth a thorough cleaning to remove any plaque and tartar accumulation.
With proper care, the implant screw itself can last a lifetime. The crown will last an average of 10 to 15 years, at which time it may need to be replaced due to normal wear and tear.
Some general maintenance tips to prolong the life of your oral implant include:
- Visit your dentist regularly. Your dentist can identify early signs of implant failure and take the necessary steps to prevent complications. Regular cleanings also prevent the buildup of harmful plaque around the gum, which can lead to infection.
- Practice good oral health. Brush at least twice a day using a non-abrasive toothpaste. Floss at least once daily and use mouthwash to reduce the risk of infection.
- Make good diet choices. Eating healthy can encourage fast healing after dental implant surgery. Avoid sticky candies, such as gum or taffy, and steer clear of super hard foods that could harm the implant.
- Abstain from smoking. Smoking can negatively impact the body’s natural healing process. Ideally, you should not smoke before, during, or after dental implant surgery for the best results.
- Don’t chew on ice or other hard items. Ice and other hard substances can cause damage to your dental implant, especially during the healing process.
- Alert your dentist to problems. If you have an oral health concern following your surgery, contact your dentist immediately. Early intervention can help prevent implant failure and minimize any discomfort you may have due to complications.
Contact Artistic Touch Dentistry About Dental Implants
Whether you are interested in dental implants or have already received your implants in our office, we’re here to help. Contact Artistic Touch Dentistry today for more information or to schedule an appointment.