Dental Implant After Care
Are you about to get dental implants? Aftercare is simpler than you might expect! At Ablantis Dental we’ll talk you through everything and provide written home care instructions, just in case you forget anything. The right tooth implant aftercare routine will ensure your mouth heals properly and you reduce the risk of any complications.
Dental Implant Surgery Aftercare
During the first day, apply a cold compress to the side of your face where the implants were installed, taking it on-and-off every 20 minutes. The cooler temperatures will reduce post-operative swelling, which is typically the leading cause of any surgical discomfort.
Fortunately, most of our patients say that implant treatment is easier to recover from than having a tooth removed. On the day of your dental implant surgery and the few immediately after, you’ll want to take an over-the-counter pain reliever like ibuprofen (Motrin) if needed. Since dental implant treatment is relatively minimally-invasive, you may not need any type of pain medication at all.
More often than not, Dr. Cortadi will also prescribe an antibiotic to take after your surgery. This medicine will help prevent any potential infections, which could result in failure of your dental implant. After care directions will always state to take your antibiotic for the full duration of the prescription, even if you feel fine afterward.
Cleaning Around Dental Implant Surgery Sites
It’s extremely important to keep your surgical sites clean and treat them delicately while your mouth heals. For the first several days, rinse with warm saltwater every few hours to remove food particles and help with any swelling.
When you brush your teeth, make sure to avoid irritating your implant site. After about a week, you can brush on that part of your mouth again.
Once your dental implant abutment is installed, you’ll brush and floss that area the same way you would any other tooth. The cleaner you keep it, the better chance you’ll have of keeping your implant(s) for the rest of your life.
Eating After Dental Implant Treatment
Eating after dental implants are installed isn’t as concerning as other types of oral surgeries, such as wisdom tooth removal. Knowing what to eat after dental implant surgery will help prevent any irritation to the surgical site, so that the gum tissues can heal properly. Normally that means no hard, hot, or crunchy foods for at least a couple of weeks.
Here are some safe, soft foods to eat the first few days after dental implants are placed:
- Mashed potatoes
- Steamed vegetables
You might also want to consider mostly chewing your food on the other side of your mouth for the first week. Within a couple of weeks, you can go back to eating as normal. Just take things easy and don’t rush them!
A Note About Peri-Implantitis
Even though dental implants are not anatomical teeth, they are still susceptible to dental plaque. After care for dental implants is extremely important, as the most common cause of implant failure is a preventable infection known as peri-implantitis. This condition is the implant form of gum disease (periodontitis.)
Peri-implantitis develops when plaque and tartar buildup accumulate around the implant, triggering inflammation and bleeding. Left untouched, these infected areas will cause the gum tissue and bone around the implant to pull away, compromising the support around your new “tooth”.
Thankfully, peri-implantitis can be prevented with daily brushing and flossing, as well as regular checkups with our Encinitas dentist. The goal is to keep the tissues immediately around your implant as healthy as possible. If flossing is difficult because of the type of restoration you have, you can use a water flosser instead.
With great home care, you can typically expect your implants to last for the rest of your life.
Have Questions? Call Our Encinitas Dentist
Dr. Cortadi is always happy to answer any questions that you have. If you’ve recently had tooth implant surgery, aftercare and follow-ups are an important part of your treatment. Our team is always accessible to assist you when you need attention. Call Ablantis Dental now!