The process of replacing the tooth root with a screw-like metal post is called dental implant surgery. Essentially, the dental implant process involves the replacement of damaged or missing teeth with artificial teeth that are designed to function, look, and feel like the natural ones.
While dental implant cost is considered slightly higher compared to other alternatives, it is still considered a worthwhile investment, thanks to the peerless benefits it offers. That said, many don’t mind the dental implant cost since it is considered one of the best alternatives to bridgework or dentures.
Understandably, getting the procedure is just the first step. What many patients don’t realize is that dental aftercare is just as critical in the longevity and overall success of the dental implant procedure. You can easily keep complications, pain, and discomfort at by if you observe the right dental implant aftercare.
Dental Implants: Aftercare Dos and Don’ts
Controlling the bleeding
It is likely for bleeding to occur within the first 72 hours after the dental implant procedure. To manage the bleeding effectively, bite down on a gauze for at least an hour. Repeat the procedure every 6 to 10 hours or as often as needed.
To ensure any unnecessary bleeding is avoided, try to stay calm, sit upright, and avoid doing any vigorous activities or exercises for the time being. It is also recommended that you avoid bending over or lifting anything heavy. Forceful spitting, smoking, and using straw should also be avoided the first few weeks after the procedure.
Minimizing swelling and bruising
Swelling and bruising on the face and gums can occur after the procedure. Sinus lifting might also trigger bruising around the nose and eyes. Although discoloration can peak 2-3 days after the procedure, it often disappears on its own.
If the swelling and bruising bothers you, placing an ice pack on the affected area can help. Keep the ice pack on the area for at least 15 to 20 minutes at a time. Another thing you need to keep in mind: make sure to avoid salt, sleep in a propped-up position, and stay hydrated.
Getting proper rest
While most patients can already return to work after the procedure, if your work involves doing something strenuous, it would be best to just take a few days off after the procedure. Physical exertion and vigorous exercise should be avoided for at least a week after the procedure.
Following proper oral hygiene
Infection is one of the primary causes of dental implant failure. To keep infections at bay, it is vital that you observe proper oral hygiene. For starters, make sure to brush your teeth at least twice daily. However, you need to avoid brushing the implant the first few days after the procedure.
If you want to remove any food debris from your mouth, try rinsing your mouth with a glass of warm water mixed with a teaspoon of salt. You can do this for at least a week after your dental implant procedure. Also, avoid using water flossers and electric toothbrushes a few days after your dental implant surgery.
While implants will not get any cavities like the natural teeth, it is possible for the soft tissues surrounding the implants to get infected if proper oral hygiene is not observed. Regular dental visits is recommended so any problems are addressed right away before they required complex and costly interventions.