A Patient’s Guide to Dental Implant Aftercare

Shockingly, by the age of 50, the average American will have lost as many as 12 teeth! So the need for dental implants has never been higher.

With that in mind, we thought we’d reveal to you some of our top dental implant aftercare tips.

Let’s dive on in!

1. Bleeding

If you experience a little bleeding, don’t worry that’s completely normal. It’s likely you’ll see a small amount of blood in your saliva for up to 24 hours after your surgery.

If you’re bleeding excessively, i.e., you’re mouth’s filling with blood, try biting on a gauze pad for 30 minutes. If this continues to be a problem, ring your dentist immediately.

Also, if you’ve had an implant fitted on your upper jaw, you might experience a nosebleed a few days after surgery. If that happens, don’t be alarmed this is entirely normal.

2. Swelling

You can expect a bit of swelling after dental surgery. We recommend placing an ice pack on the cheek closest to the surgical area; this will help bring it down.

Try and do this as much as possible for two days after your procedure. It’s best to place something frozen wrapped in a towel directly onto the cheek for ten minutes, and then allow for a 20-minute break.

Repeat this cycle for as long as you’re able to.

If bruising appears, don’t worry, this is to be expected and will most likely peak between two to three days after your surgery.

The bruising and swelling should calm down within a few days. You may also find you benefit from sleeping propped up (use two or three pillows), this can help ease the swelling.

3. Diet

Make sure you do all of the following:

  • Drink plenty of fluids.
  • Avoid consuming hot food and drink until the anesthetic wears off.
  • Eat soft foods for a day after your surgery.
  • Don’t ‘swill’ liquid over the area of your dental work.

Plus, you can return to healthy eating as soon as you feel up to it unless you’re directed otherwise by your dentist.

4. Pain

You should take painkillers as soon as you feel the local anesthetic wearing off. You can buy ibuprofen over the counter; this should be enough to manage the pain.

Follow the instructions on the packet, and you shouldn’t go too far wrong.

If you’re in severe pain, contact your dentist as they may need to prescribe you something stronger.

5. Antibiotics

If you’ve been prescribed antibiotics, be sure to take them as directed and complete the entire course.

6. Oral Hygiene

Good oral hygiene is essential for any dental surgery to be a success. As such, we suggest taking the following measures:

  • Put a teaspoon of salt in a warm cup of water and mix it to create a saltwater solution. Rinse it around your mouth. Do this between four to five times a day, especially after meals. Do this every day for a week after your procedure. Make sure the water isn’t scolding hot, this could cause more harm than good!
  • You can brush your teeth as you usually would, (including the evening following your surgery) just try to avoid touching the surgical site for a couple of days. When you feel ready, be super gentle with it because it’ll be a little sensitive.
  • Don’t use a water jet or an electric toothbrush, for now, clean your teeth using a traditional brush.
  • Do your best to keep food away from the surgical area (try chewing on the other side of your mouth)
  • If you’re a smoker, don’t smoke until the wound fully healed. Prematurely smoking can severely hinder the healing process.
  • Don’t attempt to floss or water-pick anywhere near the surgery site for at least a week.
  • Don’t consume alcohol for a week after surgery because this can prevent your gums from healing.

Be sure to take note of this advice and action it. Trust us; you’ll be thankful in the long run.

7. Exercise

Keep physical exertion to a minimum during the aftermath of your surgery. Physical activity after your procedure can cause painful throbbing and bleeding.

Plus, you probably won’t be able to eat regularly for the first couple of days, which will leave you feeling weaker than usual.

It’s usually best to wait a bit before hitting the gym. This will allow your body to recover fully.

8. Dentures

If you wear dentures, you need to consult with your dentist when you’re able to wear them again (including partial dentures).

Don’t attempt to insert them before it’s safe to do so. Then, when you do use them, proceed with caution.

You shouldn’t put unnecessary pressure on the surgical site, and this can affect the success of your implant.

9. Follow Up

After you’ve had dental implants, we suggest visiting your dentist regularly, at least once every three months.

This helps to ensure your implants are kept as clean as possible and minimizes the risk of infection.

Did You Enjoy This Blog Post on Dental Implant Aftercare?

If you found this article on dental implant aftercare useful, then we suggest checking out our services page. Over there we discuss this procedure in much greater detail and highlight everything from what dental implants are, to what they’re used for.

If you’re in the process of looking for a new dentist, we encourage you to get in touch and meet the team. We’re more than happy to answer any questions you have and hope to serve you as best we can. Speak soon!

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