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How To Care For Dental Implants? A Handy Guide To Help Them Last

So, you’re scheduled for dental implant surgery and no doubt feeling a mixture of anxiety and excitement. You’ve every reason to feel excited. Dental implants can help improve your quality of life, restore confidence, and have a high success rate of 97% for 10 years. However, you need to practice good dental implant care to achieve high success rates. Luckily for you, we’ve put together a handy guide that will teach you all you need to learn about dental implants. 

 

How to care for dental implants?

Dental implant care starts from the minute your dental implant surgery is over. While you won’t have felt any pain during the surgery, you may experience some pain and swelling in the next 24 hours once your mouth is no longer numb. Don’t be alarmed. This is perfectly normal. 

Here are some things you can do immediately following dental implant surgery.

  • To control any bleeding, bite down on the clean gauze the dentist provided you. Keep biting down for around 20 minutes, and any bleeding should ease. dental implant care tips sydney
  • Take things easy at home for the next 8-12 hours. Try and keep your head elevated by placing a few pillows under your head while you lay on your bed and avoid any strenuous exercise. 
  • Placing an ice pack wrapped in a towel on the side of your face where it’s swollen for 15 minutes on and 15 minutes off will help reduce swelling.
  • Switching to a soft diet, eating slowly and carefully, and taking supplements such as Vitamin C, will help promote healing.
  • Take prescribed medications such as antibiotics, and be sure to complete the course even if you’re feeling back to normal.
  • Avoid rinsing your mouth for 24 hours.
  • Do not probe the implant site with your tongue as you could dislodge the blood clot that protects the area from infection and helps with healing.
  • Should you need pain relief, over-the-counter painkillers like Ibuprofen should ease your discomfort.

Oh, and did we mention that you should bring a friend with you to your appointment to drive you home after dental implant surgery?

So, that’s how to care for dental implants immediately after surgery, but what about in the longer term. Let’s look at what’s involved in dental implant care moving forwards. 

 

Long term dental implant care

Looking after your dental implants from the get-go is vital for long-term implant success. You should never regard your implants as a ‘fit and forget’ solution to tooth loss. 

Good oral hygiene and regular dental check-ups are crucial whether you have replaced one tooth with a single dental implant or multiple teeth. A neglected dental implant can develop plaque and tartar and be susceptible to harmful bacteria leading to gum disease. Without treatment, the disease could develop into peri-implantitis, equivalent to periodontal disease around a natural tooth. According to a 2017 review, peri-implantitis can take around five years to progress and cause symptoms. The condition is likely to cause discomfort, tenderness, and bleeding, causing bone erosion and eventual implant failure. With early detection, the disease can be treated and managed.

According to the Oral Health Foundation, How well you look after your dental implants – and whether you go for your regular maintenance appointments – will have the biggest impact on how long they will last.

 

How to care for dental implants on a daily basis – top tips

 

 

Consider your toothbrush

After receiving dental implants, you might consider switching to an electric toothbrush like the Oral B Genius. With a sensitive mode and pressure control, it’s gentle on teeth and gums as you brush but tough on plaque. 

 

Wise up with toothpaste

Naturally, you want to use toothpaste to clean your teeth and gums, but there’s something in your mouth that wasn’t there before. Dental implants are made from materials that can deteriorate without proper care. As a result, not all toothpaste is suitable when you have a dental implant. Choose a low abrasive toothpaste and avoid those that contain baking soda, stain removers, and sodium fluoride because they could erode the surface of your implant. 

 

Implant-friendly floss 

Flossing is critical since it removes plaque and food particles that cause the growth of bacteria and release enamel damaging acids. Without flossing, your tooth enamel and possibly your implants could erode. But do be careful when flossing with implants. Use unwaxed floss or floss that’s designed for implants. You may need a threader to navigate multiple implants. For implants in hard-to-reach mouth areas, consider investing in a water flosser.  

 

Visual inspections

We’ve already mentioned the importance of regular check-ups with your dentist but carry out daily visual inspections checking for any unusual signs of redness, irritation, or swelling. 

caring for tooth implants sydneyWe hope our how to care for dental implants guide has answered all your questions and eased any anxieties you may have had about dental implant care

Dental implants offer a safe and permanent method of tooth replacement.

To get the most out of your investment and help them last longer, try following the above tips and the aftercare instructions given to you by your dentist. 

 

Why not take the first step to restore your smile here?

Our dentists are highly experienced in dental implants and welcome the opportunity to help you restore your smile. Why not schedule an implant consultation today to see if they’re a suitable procedure for you. Call us on (02) 8806 0227 today.

No Gaps Dental takes every precaution to avoid infection by ensuring that all our clinics are clean and well-stocked with hand sanitiser. We use hand sanitiser before and after dental implant surgery to avoid spreading Covid 19. Our hand sanitiser contains 60% ethanol and 70% isopropanol, effectively killing many airborne viruses. We also advise patients to use hand sanitiser before putting their hands anywhere near their mouths and newly installed implants. 

 

 

Note: Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.

 

 

References

National Center for Biotechnology InformationDental Implants

National Center for Biotechnology Information – Dietary Strategies to Optimize Wound Healing after Periodontal and Dental Implant Surgery

National Center for Biotechnology Information – Complications in implant dentistry

Oral Health Foundation – How long will implants last

Oral B.com – How to clean your dental implants 

National Center for Biotechnology InformationComparison between water flosser and regular floss in the efficacy of plaque removal in patients after single use

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