Guide to dental implant aftercare
24th February 2022
Making the decision to have dental implants can be a life changing investment. Implants allow you to enjoy the food you love without any discomfort or trouble and preserve your quality of life by being able to smile and speak without feeling self-conscious. So, after such an investment in yourself, how do you ensure the longevity of your implants and how do you take care of them immediately after treatment but also day-to-day for years to come?
Immediate implant aftercare
Will my mouth bleed?
Some minor bleeding post implant placement is normal, and you might see a small amount of blood in your saliva for up to a day. We might ask you to apply pressure by biting down on a gauze pad afterwards and if the bleeding is still occurring after an hour, repeat the process with a fresh gauze pad. This should help to stop bleeding, however it if does continue, ring us immediately.
What shall I avoid?
Avoid drinking or eating hot items, spicy food, and alcohol. Do not eat until the local anaesthetic has worn off and don’t swill liquid over the area of the implant. Avoid heavy exercise and stick to minimum physical exertion until your body has recovered fully. Avoid smoking until the around has completely healed as this can severely hinder the healing process.
If you wear dentures, don’t attempt to insert them before your dentist has given you the go ahead. Putting pressure on the surgical area can affect the success of your implant.
What can I eat and drink?
Make sure to stay hydrated and drink plenty of fluids. Eat soft foods for a few days after surgery but continue to eat nourishing foods, to help your body heal faster. Try to also avoid eating around the surgical area and avoid foods such as popcorn and seeded fruit, as they can get lodged and can cause infection.
Will I have a swollen face?
Swelling or bruising is normal following implant treatment and may peak 2-3 days after surgery. Your dentist may advise you to apply ice packs wrapped in towels onto the side of the face for the first day after treatment. After the first day, gentle heat is more beneficial.
How shall I adapt my oral hygiene routine straight after treatment?
Good oral hygiene especially after dental surgery is essential to ensure the success of the treatment. Follow your dentist’s advice and take the following measures:
- Make a saltwater mouthwash by mixing a teaspoon of salt in warm water. Rinse around the mouth gently 4 or 5 times a day, especially after meals.
- Brush your teeth as normal with a manual toothbrush, however it’s best to avoid the surgical area for a couple of days.
- Avoid using a water flosser altogether and traditional floss around the surgical area for a few days until healed.
Long-term implant care
After healing, dental implants should be cared for the same way as your natural teeth. Brush twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste, clean in between your teeth daily and visit us for professional hygienist cleans regularly. It is important to practice good oral hygiene to prevent infection and inflammation around the implants and improve their lifespan.
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