Dental implant surgery is one of the most sought after tooth replacement procedures because of its strong resemblance to natural teeth. In fact, it’s one of the best options when it comes to tooth replacement if you’re not a fan of traditional dentures. We all know dentures have their fair share of disadvantages like having to replace them every 5-8 years or the hassle of accidentally slipping out of your mouth when you talk and not being able to eat the foods you normally like as they may damage your dentures. Dental implants are none like dentures, which makes them an easy crowd favorite. Although dental implants boast of a high success rate, the success of the surgery will mostly rely on how well you care for your implants once they are embedded in your mouth.
Proper care is the key to making your dental implants last long. Failure to perform necessary dental implants aftercare can lead to bleeding and even more complicated issues like peri-implantitis – a dental condition that affects the tissues surrounding the dental implants. If dental conditions are left unaddressed, it could lead to more damage and even loss of bone density.
Right after getting a dental implant surgery it is extremely important to know certain precautions, aftercare steps to ensure success:
Stick to Soft Foods
The first days and weeks after a dental implant procedure is the most critical phase of recovery. During these times, it’s important to be aware of the types of food you eat. To be safe, stick to less acidic and soft foods in order to reduce the pressure that you put in your dental implant as you chew. Hard foods such as ice cubes and candies can weaken the structure of the dental implant and break the crown or overdentures.
Choose Soft-Bristled Toothbrush
Healthy gums are important in maintaining a dental implant. This is why it’s important to carefully choose the toothbrush you’re going to use. Using soft-bristled ones are just as effective in removing plaque as hard-bristled ones. It’s also less damaging to the gums, which contribute to dental implant failure.
Moreover, using electric toothbrushes is also advised but not necessary. This is because electric toothbrushes generate more strokes and are better at removing bacteria and plaque in between the teeth. But regardless of the type of toothbrush you use, make sure that it has soft-bristles.
Flossing remains to be an important task, but is especially emphasized if you have dental implants. This is because a lot of plaque and bacteria can accumulate on the spaces between the sites of the implant. If these plaques are not removed, it can become a suitable environment for bacterial growth. Dentists usually recommend flossing at least once a day to remove all food particles and plaque.
Rinse with Water and Salt Solution For the First Few Days After Surgery
Swelling, pain, and other symptoms of surgery are most pronounced during the first 48 hours after the dental implant procedure. To help with healing, many dentists recommend rinsing your mouth with a mixture of salt and water.
Don’t Smoke or Drink Alcohol
The healing of dental implants can last for at least 6 months and in some cases, more. During this critical period, patients need to avoid smoking and drinking alcohol. Smoking can cause the blood vessels in the mouth to constrict, thus reducing the blood flow and delaying the healing. Drinking alcohol is also associated with slower healing according to research.
Use a Low-Abrasive Toothpaste
After a dental implant surgery, dentists will usually advise their patients to use low-abrasive toothpaste. It’s because this type of toothpaste lacks baking soda and stain-remover agents that can cause damage to the acrylic or porcelain implants.
Don’t Miss Regular Dental Check-ups
During the first few weeks after the surgery, your dentist will require you to come to his or her office every now and then. It’s important never to miss a single appointment as these post-operative sessions allow your dentist to clean your teeth, especially the areas around the dental implant, and to inspect if the dental implant is securely attached.
Taking Care of Your Dental Implants is Vital
Despite the required aftercare and maintenance tasks needed to prolong the functionality of your dental implants, investing in this type of tooth replacement alternative is definitely worth it. Following these tips will not only ensure that your dental implants will last longer, but it will also help in the prevention of peri-implant diseases and other oral complications. Taking care of your dental implants is a vital component of the success of the procedure.