Caring for Your Dental Implants
Dental implants are one of the most common types of tooth replacement used in dentistry today. After receiving dental implants to replace broken or missing teeth, there are a few guidelines you should follow to ensure a speedy and comfortable healing process. Creating a proper aftercare routine will help you maintain your implants for years to come.
It is incredibly important to maintain proper oral hygiene following dental implant surgery. Your dentist may give you a special mouthwash to use a few times each day. Salt water washes can speed the recovery in the healing area and may be recommended a few times each day. Regular brushing and flossing is encouraged for the entire mouth, including the healing areas. Start very gently in tender areas and increase pressure gradually. Daily oral maintenance will keep surgical areas from becoming infected and painful.
Immediately after surgery, you can expect light bleeding and swelling to occur. Apply ice packs around the neck and face to reduce swelling and blood flow to the area following the general rule of 20 minutes on, 20 minutes off. Biting down on gauze can also help to stop bleeding near the surgical site. If blood flow cannot be stopped, or lasts for a few days, contact your dentist immediately.
Your dentist will send you home with pain management instructions. Often all that is needed is over-the-counter pain medication. Most dental implant surgeries cause minimal pain and tenderness for a few days. Depending on the specifics of your surgery, you may be given prescription pain meds or antibiotics.
Avoid disturbing the surgical site as much as possible during healing. Spitting, rinsing and using a straw should also be avoided to ensure that clots remain in place. Physical exercise can increase blood flow, and is not recommended for the first few days after surgery.