When it comes to teeth replacement solutions, dental implants have proven to be very effective. They offer a host of benefits that other traditional teeth replacement solutions like bridges and removable dentures do not offer. However, achieving the best outcome from a dental implant procedure doesn’t end once the surgery is complete. In fact, what guarantees the success of your treatment is the type of aftercare (especially during the first 3 weeks after the surgery) you carry out post-dental implant surgery.
Proper dental implant aftercare is the best way to ensure that your implant heals quicker, functions well and lasts for a long time. It is also recommended that you talk to your dentist about any concerns or questions you have to fully understand all that is involved before, during and after the dental implant procedure. Below are some expert-recommended dental implant aftercare tips to follow for a successful implant. Contact Sherwood Park Dental Practice where they have been serving patients with all types of general and specialist dentistry for over 30 years.
Aftercare Starts Immediately After Surgery
Dental implant aftercare begins as soon as the surgery is complete. Start by getting someone to drive you home so that you can rest while the anaesthesia wears off. Avoid vigorous mouth rinsing and try as much as possible not to touch the implant area with either your fingers or your tongue. Also, all solid foods should be avoided until the local anaesthetic wears off.
Bleeding from the site of the implant is to be expected, and it can continue for as long as 72 hours post-implant surgery. You can effectively control the bleeding by biting down on some gauze for 45 minutes to 1 hour. This should be repeated every 6-10 hours. Alternatively, you can bite down on a black tea bag that has been moistened (the tannic acid from the tea helps constrict blood vessels, making it easier for the blood to clot). To prevent unnecessary or excessive bleeding, it is important that you stay calm and avoid bending over, heavy lifting or physical exercise. Smoking, using a straw and forceful spitting can also slow down the rate of blood clotting, so it is best to avoid those activities.
Maintain a Proper Oral Care Routine
A number one cause of dental implant failure is an infection, so it is crucial that you maintain good oral care during the healing period of your dental implant. A clean environment is needed to encourage the recovery of the soft tissues surrounding your implant. You can start brushing your teeth soon after the procedure; just ensure that you avoid contact with the implant. After each meal, rinse your mouth with a glass of warm water containing a teaspoon of salt to get rid of food particles. This should be done continuously for a week after the surgery. Avoid using electric toothbrushes or water flossers for a few days post-surgery; opt for a dental implant cleaning brush or a traditional toothbrush instead. Regular check-ups with your dentist are also important, as they can easily diagnose and treat any infections to the tissues surrounding the implant before they become a problem.
Managing Swelling and Pain
Just like bleeding, swelling is to be expected with dental implant surgery and it is especially worse during the first 2-3 days following the surgery. You can alleviate any swelling and discomfort with a cold compress and some medications. Place an ice pack or pack of frozen peas near the implant site to relieve some of the swellings. Sipping cold water during the first 24-48 hours post-surgery can also help minimise some of the irritation at the surgery site. Your dentist may also prescribe some moderate-strength analgesics to help you manage the pain better.
Get Enough Rest
With dental implants, patients can typically return to work the following day, but if your job is very physically demanding, then it is recommended that you take some days off. A huge part of the body’s healing process takes place when you’re in bed, so make sure to get enough sleep (ideally 8 hours of sleep) every night.
Like many other medical procedures, dental implants require proper aftercare to give the best possible outcome. The first 24 hours post-implant surgery is very crucial, so in addition to following the above tips, you will need to correctly follow all instructions given to you by your dentist. Stay alert to any changes to the implant and its surrounding tissues and make sure to inform your dentist about them.