Whether you are struggling with a single missing tooth or advanced tooth loss, dental implants can restore the look and function of your smile for 20+ years! To ensure they are successful in the short and long-term, it is important to care for them properly, especially in the weeks following your procedure. With this in mind, keep reading for a few do’s and don’ts when it comes to dental implant aftercare.
Do Stick to Soft Foods in the Beginning
Although dental implants are unmatched in durability, it is important not to put your new and improved bite to the test right away. Doing so can irritate the implant site, causing further irritation and discomfort. Therefore, it is a good idea to stick to soft foods, like yogurt and applesauce, following your procedure.
Don’t Skip Your Oral Hygiene Routine
Whether you are still feeling a little drowsy from the procedure or are struggling with soreness, it is important not to put off your brushing and flossing routine. The success of your dental implant relies heavily on an infection-free environment, so keeping your mouth clean is a top priority! Beginning the evening of your procedure, complete your oral hygiene routine (skipping the implant site for the first few days). Rinsing your mouth with a mixture of salt and water repeatedly throughout the day will keep the area clean until you can brush and floss your mouth normally again.
Do Take Pain-Relief Medication as Needed
Swelling, irritation, and discomfort are normal in the days following your dental implant procedure. Fortunately, that’s where pain relievers come in! Per your doctor’s instructions, take the medication as needed to ensure you remain comfortable throughout your recovery. Just continue to keep an eye out for any signs of infection.
Poor dental habits, like smoking, can significantly increase your risk of experiencing dental implant failure. Therefore, you should not partake in behaviors that can compromise your recovery, like using tobacco products, neglecting your oral care regimen, and chewing on ice. If you are ever uncertain, don’t hesitate to ask your dental team!
Do Keep In Touch With Your Dentist
Even with an extensive list of aftercare instructions at your side, it’s natural to have questions throughout your recovery. Although you will have follow-up appointments to check that the implant site is healing, get in touch with your dentist if anything unusual happens before then. Even if you have a seemingly small question, stay in touch to ensure the healing process is a smooth and stress-free as possible!
The procedure portion of getting dental implants is half the battle, but caring for your new and improved smile is the other half. Fortunately, following the above tips can help you breeze through the recovery period successfully so you can enjoy your full, healthy, beautiful smile again!
About the Author
In 1989, Dr. Greg Friedman earned his dental doctorate from Washington University’s School of Dental Medicine, and he has been helping patients in his treatment chair get the beautiful, healthy, full smile they deserve ever since! In the past 30 years, he has completed a residency at the prestigious Barnes Medical Center, maintained an active membership with multiple professional organizations, including the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, and helped countless patients achieve their smile goals. If you are struggling with tooth loss and are interested in dental implants, don’t hesitate to visit his website or give him a call at 858-682-2394.