Show that You Care: Tending to Your Dental Implant
Hundreds of thousands of people get dental implants each year to replace a lost or pulled tooth. The implant is surgically placed in the jawbone, enabling the jaw to remain healthy and strong. The crown on the top of the implant looks like a natural tooth, so patients are satisfied with both the appearance and function of the implant. You might wonder what type of care a dental implant requires after the surgery. You’re in the right place! Read on to learn about dental implant care in the short- and long-term.
Dental Implant Care After Surgery
When you have dental implant surgery and the local anesthetic wears off, you may have symptoms including swelling, mild to moderate pain, bleeding and bruising. These symptoms should subside over the course of the week, although the implant area may still be sore. Your dental provider may offer pain medication to you, or recommend an over the counter medicine such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen.
Since your gums have been cut to place the implant in the bone, you may have stitches that will dissolve within a couple of weeks or that will be removed on your follow-up visit. You’ll be asked to avoid foods that are very hard or crunchy until enough healing occurs. Your dentist will let you know what to eat after implant surgery to avoid damaging the area.
Occasionally, patients develop infections or other problems at the implant site. If you feel an unusual amount of pain or excessive swelling, contact your dentist. You may be asked to make an office visit or provided an antibiotic prescription as treatment.
While you may be focused on how you feel, important work is going on inside the gum as the tissue heals and the bone fuses with the implant. This complete process of healing, bonding, and strengthening takes several months. If your implant is being completed in a two-stage process, you’ll return to the office to have the implant top exposed and the connector piece and crown attached. This process may cause mild discomfort and require careful eating habits until it’s completely healed. Until then, follow the doctor’s orders on care.
Long-Term Care for the Dental Implant
Following the healing process, you have a new tooth that functions the same as any other healthy tooth. It will look, feel, and operate naturally. With proper care, the implant should last for at least 25 years.. To make your implant last, follow these practices:
- Brush your teeth twice a day and floss or use an interdental brush daily. Clean all the way around the post as well as in between teeth. Prevent periodontal disease by removing plaque and tartar.
- Eat healthy foods, avoiding very sugary and acidic food and drinks.
- Avoid tooth-damaging habits such as smoking, chewing tobacco, and drug use.
- Eliminate very hard foods including ice, hard candy, and whole almonds that can break a crown or tooth and extremely sticky caramels and similar candies that can pull a crown off.
- If you grind or clench your teeth, speak to the dentist. Wear bite guards as prescribed.
- Continue with your regular visits to the dentist, twice a year or as directed, for dental cleaning and exams.
With proper dental implant care and maintenance, you’ll soon forget that you have anything in your mouth other than natural teeth!
The Best in Patient Care
At NYC Dental Implant Center, we specialize in dental implants. Why not get your implants from the best? Call us for an appointment at (917) 994-9494.