Dental implants are designed to last a lifetime. Restoring your smile to its former glory with the appropriate care might help you feel more confident while reaching out to new people. And maybe even more remarkably, your newly restored dental function can improve your relationship with the food you eat.
This extensive guide on the care and maintenance of dental implants focuses on three primary categories:
- Instructions to follow in the days and weeks after having a dental implant operation done.
- Care instructions for the rest of your life to ensure that your dental implants stay clean and healthy
- Advice on the care and maintenance of dental implants for the entire mouth
Who is the target audience for this guide?
- Those patients who are responsible for the maintenance of dental implants.
- For patients who have either a single dental implant or a bridge that is supported by an implant.
- For anyone considering getting dental implants to replace all of their teeth in either their upper or lower jaw.
Continue reading for some excellent guidance if any of the situations described above ring familiar to you.
Care for Dental Implants After Surgery
The hours, days, and weeks immediately following a dental implant treatment are the most crucial for good aftercare. At this time, your body will be putting a lot of effort into repairing the gum and bone tissue that was damaged at the implant sites. Osseointegration is another process that is taking place at this time with the dental implant and your jawbone. In order for the implant to successfully fuse with the bone and offer a sturdy support for your prosthesis, you will need to give it some time.
Recovery period following the dental implant operation, during which the majority of patients report feeling back to normal, is often reported to take between three and five days.
The following are some suggestions for maintaining the health of your new dental implants and bridges during this critical phase of the healing process.
DO NOT attempt to remove the stitches. You should let the stitches disintegrate on their own or fall out on their own. During seven to ten days, any stitches you may have will either fall out on their own or dissolve on their own unless your treatment coordinator has specifically told you differently. Under no circumstances should you try to remove sutures on your own.
Use ice. Ice can be used to the parts of the face that are swollen if the swelling does occur. For the first two days after the surgery, you should apply ice for a total of 40 minutes on and 40 minutes off. After the third day, you should be able to relieve muscle stiffness by alternating applications of ice and heat.
Ice should NOT be chewed. Just use ice on your face to get the best results. Do not put it in your mouth, and under no circumstances should you ever chew on ice.
Avoid overcaring. Even something as innocuous as over-examining the surgery site can interfere with the body’s natural ability to heal. You run the danger of damaging the surgical area that is currently attempting to heal if you pull at your cheeks and stretch your mouth out after having surgery.
Do a final washing in warm salt water. When the treatment has been completed and the patient has rested for 24 hours, the salt water rinses can begin.
Make sure to clean without being too rough. On the day of your dental implant appointment, you are free to clean your teeth as usual. Be really gentle. Make sure you use a toothbrush with gentle bristles. This region requires some time to recover.
In addition, exercise extreme caution, particularly around the region surrounding the incision where the implant was surgically placed. It is important to refrain from brushing the surgical site at the gum line directly surrounding the implant.
As you are brushing your teeth, you should not swish the toothpaste about in your mouth or spit it out. It is possible for you to remove the toothpaste from your mouth by rinsing it with water. You shouldn’t spit out the water. If you stand with your mouth open over the sink, the water will fall out. After that, clean your mouth and we’re done with you.
DO NOT over-clean the space. The problem of over-cleaning, which occurs frequently in over-care, can be just as severe or even worse than the problem of not cleaning enough. Picking at a troublesome region repeatedly does not speed up the healing process and should be avoided. These kinds of compulsive habits have a much higher risk of exacerbating existing problems and, in the end, converting a relatively modest issue into a significant one.
Change gauze. You should routinely change your gauze, but you should only do so when instructed to do so by your surgeon or treatment coordinator.
Stay away from straws for the first twenty-four hours.
Particularly on the first day of the healing process, activities such as sucking, spitting, and swishing might be irritating to the wound. At this time, blood clots must form at the extraction site in order for the procedure to be successful.
If you do not adhere to this recommendation, you may develop a painful dental condition known as dry socket, which will lengthen the amount of time it takes for you to recover. The condition known as a “dry socket” develops when a blood clot fails to form, leaving the jawbone open to infection from bacteria and air. This has the feel of a dull aching or a throbbing in the jaw area.
During five to six days of the operation, you would begin to experience the agony that was caused by it. As soon as you experience this pain, it is imperative that you contact your implant provider. They want to treat your dry socket, but they need to see you first.
Avoid soft drinks. Drinks with a low pH, such as soda or coffee, as well as liquids with a high pH, such as orange juice or soft drinks, can irritate the healing process, and they also have the potential to cause dry sockets.
Consume only foods that can be easily sliced with the tines of a plastic fork. During the time that your new teeth are healing, it is important to stick to a diet of foods that are easy to chew. It’s possible that food that doesn’t look like it would be too difficult to chew, like lettuce, actually is.
When consuming hot meals and beverages, exercise caution at all times. Because of the operation, you will feel some numbness for the first twenty-four hours after it has been completed. When ingesting things that have a propensity to be hot, such as coffee, soups, and foods prepared in the microwave, use extreme caution to prevent burns.
Don’t smoke. It is extremely detrimental to dental implants to smoke. Active smokers have a higher chance of contracting an infection as a result of the surgery. At the site of an implant, smoking reduces the amount of blood that may reach the bone and tissue. If this supply is cut off, the body’s ability to mend itself and defend itself against infection will be severely hindered, which poses a serious health risk.
Have some gum. After a few days, if you begin to suffer persistent muscle stiffness in which you are unable to open your mouth as widely as you were able to before, begin chewing gum frequently to assist loosen up those jaw muscles. This will allow you to expand your mouth as widely as you were able to before.
Follow the instructions as they are supplied. When it comes to the care you need following surgery, you shouldn’t put all of your faith in this advice. It is imperative that you maintain communication with either your surgeon or treatment coordinator. Never make assumptions about what is expected of you, especially if you have questions or feel unclear about what those expectations are.
The following are some of the things you can do to get ready before the date of your procedure:
- Compile a list of things to do and things to avoid.
- Throughout your appointments, be sure to ask follow-up questions.
- Maintain a close eye on your to-do list during the entire procedure.
At Digital Dental Implant Institute Gosford, we provide pre-op and post-operation care instructions that are designed to be simple and straightforward, and your treatment coordinator will go over them with you before the scheduled date of your procedure.
Care for Dental Implants Throughout the Long Term
Your new teeth have the potential to provide you with a long-term solution to your oral health issues if you give them the attention and care they need.
There is some overlap between this situation and the after-surgery care instructions that you followed.
First, let’s go through the key differences between acute and long-term care. Thankfully, there are not nearly as many recommendations for long-term care. The majority of our patients have found that caring for their full mouth dental implants to be an easy and uncomplicated process, and we expect you will have the same experience.
Make the investment in a high-quality water flosser. When it comes to removing debris from nooks and crevices that are difficult to access around dental implants and bridges, these straightforward gadgets are nothing short of miracle workers. When a person has full mouth implants, there is a little gap between the bridge and the gums. This gap can trap food particles and other debris when the person is eating. With the help of a massaging spray of water, a water flosser can help remove this accumulation in a gentle and effective manner.
Stop smoking forever and ever. It was stated previously, but it bears repeating for clarity. Smoking is extremely detrimental to one’s dental health. Those who smoke have an extremely elevated chance of contracting an illness. They are also at a higher risk of oral health concerns, such as the loss of teeth and, in a similar vein, the failure of implants. This is something that we already know. Putting an end to your smoking habit is one of the most important things you can do to improve the health of your implants and extend their lifespan, even if you don’t make any other adjustments to your behavior.
Do NOT miss any of your cleaning appointments. Even if you have artificial teeth, you still need to get regular cleanings. When it comes to dental implants, maintaining good oral hygiene is still very important. If you are a patient of New Teeth Today, a qualified dental hygienist will do cleanings on your teeth, during which time your teeth will be removed, and they will discuss your oral health issue with you. Because your teeth will be permanently attached to the implants after this procedure, they will not need to be extracted at any future time.
Always be sure you wear your mouthguard as instructed. If you have been given the recommendation to use a mouthguard while you sleep in order to reduce the amount of tooth wear and tear caused by severe teeth grinding and clenching, please follow this recommendation.
Ice should NOT be chewed. Even after everything has healed, it is not allowed to eat ice; this rule applies even to those with teeth made of zirconia.
If you’re having problems, you should come visit us. If something doesn’t sit right with you, don’t disregard it. Even if it’s simply to put your mind at ease, we can have a look at it for you. Moreover, if you are having problems with your dental implant, please do not try to fix them on your own. Carrying out medical procedures on oneself at home is not only risky but also extremely unclean.
If you Google for a do-it-yourself solution, you are asking for trouble; you will almost certainly run into more complications and expenses.