How to Care for a Dental Implant During the Recovery Process

Many people stress out at the thought of losing their teeth. Losing teeth can even make it into a person’s dreams and can become one of the worst nightmares they will experience. Many people who have had this nightmare will still have their teeth when they wake up. For others, the nightmare of missing teeth doesn’t just exist in their dreams but continues into real life. 

No one wants a smile that is filled with gaps. Missing teeth can affect a person’s confidence and can even affect their oral and overall health or Dental Anxiety. Missing teeth can lead to problems with other teeth, bone loss, and lead to decay, and infection. With the advancements in dentistry, a person doesn’t have to live with missing teeth. Dental implants can help replace missing teeth and give a person their smile back. 

Dental Implant Procedure

Dental implants are titanium posts that are surgically placed in a person’s upper and lower jawbone. Dental implant placement is a surgical procedure that is done by a dentist in  Gray Oak Family Dental or oral surgeon. When a person makes the decision to have dental implants placed they will have an appointment made for the surgical procedure. During this procedure, the patient will receive local anesthesia or some form of sedation. 

Once the patient is numb and made comfortable the dentist or oral surgeon will remove gum tissue to access the bone underneath. When the bone is exposed the dental professional will then use special instruments to drill into the bone to make room for the dental implant. Once the dental implant is placed the dentist or oral surgeon may place a bone graft to help with healing and strengthen the implant. 

In order for the dental implant to integrate properly to the bone, the area has to have time to heal. What occurs during the healing process will help determine whether the dental implant fails or is a success. The patient receiving the dental implant plays a big role in the success of the procedure. There are several things a patient can do during the healing and recovery process that will help the implant stay strong and integrated. 

How to care for a dental implant during the recovery process

There are several things a person can do immediately after dental implant surgery and even days after, to ensure the dental implant lasts a lifetime. Some of these include:

Understand that the recovery and healing process takes time –

When it comes to the success of a dental implant, time is the best medicine. In order for a dental implant to integrate or fuse completely to the bone, it must have time to do so. If a restoration is placed on a dental implant that has not properly integrated into the bone, it can cause the implant to fail. The best thing a patient can do is to be patient and know the longer the implant heals the stronger it will be. 

Get some rest and take it easy after the dental implant surgery 

According to FourCreeds, After the dental implant procedure is completed it’s extremely important that the patient avoid doing any strenuous activities. Strenuous activities include exercising, lifting or moving large objects, or moving around a lot. The importance of taking it easy after the dental implant surgery is to ensure a blood clot forms and stays in the surgical area. The blood clot helps to avoid problems from occurring and helps with the healing process. 

Also, patients who have taken any form of sedation should not participate in strenuous activities. Each patient who uses sedation should have another person take and pick them up from their appointment. Patients who have been sedated should never drive themselves home after a procedure. 

Avoid eating certain foods 

Immediately after, and for up to two weeks following the dental implant surgery, each patient is asked to follow a certain diet. Soft foods like soup, yogurt, applesauce, milkshakes, and other soft foods are recommended. Patients are told to avoid hard, chewy, sticky, and spicy foods for at least two weeks after the implant is placed. This helps to avoid trauma to the implant, avoid debris getting into the socket and avoid dislodging the blood clot. 

Use an ice pack 

It is very normal for the surgical area to experience some swelling. Surgery causes trauma to soft tissue and bone and the body naturally reacts by swelling. Placing an ice pack on the area can help with discomfort and swelling. Some swelling is normal and will begin to subside after time. 

Be watchful of potential problems 

The best thing a patient can do to ensure the success of a dental implant is to watch for problems and inform their dentist or oral surgeon.  As mentioned, a person should expect some discomfort, swelling, and bleeding. However, if the discomfort turns into severe pain, if the bleeding continues or gets worse, or if the swelling continues for days or weeks it’s important to make this information known to a dental professional. Catching issues early will help to ensure the success of the dental implant. 

Keep the area clean –

Immediately after the dental implant surgery, the patient is told to avoid brushing the area to prevent affecting the blood clot. However, after a couple of days, the patient is told to keep the area clean and debris-free. Each patient should still brush their teeth normally, at least twice a day. The best thing to do around the surgical area is to brush slowly and gently. This will help remove any plaque or debris that can infect the area and will also not affect the healing process by causing damage to the tissue or blood clot. 

Dental implants are wonderful restorations and can help a person who has lost teeth regain their beautiful smile. For anyone who has implants or is wanting implants, learning more about how to care for them will help ensure the dental implant lasts a lifetime. Contact your local dentist to learn about dental implants. 

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