Caring For Your New Dental Implant
Are you preparing to undergo dental implant surgery and trying to figure out what you can expect after they are in place and you are at home recovering? We’re here to help you feel more confident about choosing dental implants to replace your missing or severely damaged teeth and restore your smile.
What are Dental Implants?
Dental implants are restorations used to replace a missing tooth, but unlike other tooth replacement options, a dental implant replaces the entire tooth structure. It consists of a titanium screw surgically placed into the jawbone to replace the tooth root and act as an anchor for an artificial tooth. An abutment connects the artificial tooth to the dental implant. Because the implant fuses with your jawbone, the replacement teeth look, feel, and function like a natural tooth.
What Happens During a Dental Implant Procedure?
Dental implant surgery is usually an outpatient surgery performed in stages, with healing time between procedures. The process of placing a dental implant involves multiple steps, including:
- Consultation and treatment planning: To determine if implants are right for you, we’ll thoroughly examine your teeth and gums, evaluate bone density and quantity, and determine exactly where the implants should be placed.
- Dental implant placement: Once we’ve developed a personalized treatment plan, our partnered dental implant experts will place the implant into the jawbone.
- Abutment and crown placement: After up to six months of healing, you’ll return to Believe Dental Care so we can attach an abutment. Next, we’ll make impressions of your teeth and create a model of your bite (which captures all your teeth, their type, and arrangement). We’ll use this model to make your new dental crown, bridge, or dentures to restore the implant fully.
What Does the Aftercare Look Like After Getting New Dental Implants?
After your dental implant surgery, following the post-operative instructions is essential. Taking proper care of your implants lowers your risk of infection and greatly reduces the risk of implant failure. Here’s what you can expect during your dental implant aftercare:
- Bleeding: Minor bleeding is normal and may last for several hours. Keep gauze on the surgical area with some biting pressure for 30–45 minutes. Avoid spitting, bending over, sucking through a straw, and rinsing for 24 hours, as this can dislodge the blood clot and interrupt the healing process.
- Swelling and bruising: You’ll likely have swelling and bruising around the surgical area for several days following a dental implant placement. You can help alleviate this by using a cold pack or ice bag wrapped in a towel and applied firmly to the area.
- Discomfort: Once the anesthesia wears off, you’ll experience discomfort for a few days. Your dentist will likely prescribe pain medications to relieve any pain or discomfort you feel after the procedure.
- Diet: For five to seven days after surgery, your diet should be restricted to soft foods. Afterward, you can resume your normal diet, but try to avoid chewing hard or crunchy foods around the implant site.
- Brushing: Don’t brush or rinse your teeth for the first 24 hours following dental implant surgery. On days 2 and 3, you should brush your teeth twice daily with a soft-bristled toothbrush but avoid touching the surgical site or gums. If you were prescribed a solution, rinse as directed. Keeping good dental hygiene is an integral part of the healing process.
- No smoking or drinking alcohol: Avoid smoking for ten days or drinking alcohol for 48 hours following dental implant surgery, as this is attributed to high failure rates and should be avoided following implant procedures.
- Activity: Avoid strenuous physical activity for the first 3 to 4 days after surgery.
- Antibiotics: Unless otherwise noted, follow the dosage directions and continue taking the antibiotics until they are finished to help prevent infection.
What Will the Post-Op Appointment Look Like?
Dental implant recovery times can vary, but most people can resume normal activities in about three days. You will be asked to return to our dental office for a 2–3-week follow-up appointment to examine the implant area and ensure everything is healing appropriately.
Schedule Your Dental Implant Consultation Today!
At Believe Dental Care, we provide high-quality dental implant restorations in Swanton, OH, for patients who’ve lost one or more teeth. Our dental team will help you through the entire process and provide you with all the necessary post-operative information for a swift and successful recovery. Contact us today to schedule an appointment!