How to Care for Dental Implants
Dental implants are a popular choice and one of the more advanced dental treatments available today, and they offer several benefits over traditional dentures or bridges. Platinum Dental Group can help you determine if dental implants are the best option for your oral health.
What are dental implants, and why are they popular for tooth replacement?
Unlike dentures or bridges, implants are permanently anchored to the jawbone, providing a stable foundation for artificial teeth. They can support a single tooth, multiple teeth, or complete sets of dentures. Because they are placed directly in the jawbone, dental implants can help preserve bone density and prevent changes in the shape of your face. Dental implants are a natural-looking and long-lasting solution for people who have lost one or more teeth.
Getting dental implants helps restore the look of your smile, so sometimes, implant surgery can be considered cosmetic dentistry. However, the implants also serve a functional purpose in replacing missing teeth needed to eat properly.
What to Expect During the Dental Implant Procedure
Before the procedure, the surgeon will review your medical history and order any necessary tests, such as x-rays. Then, your dental surgeon will make some incisions in your gums and insert the implants into your jawbone during the procedure. Once they are in place, the surgeon will close the incisions with sutures.
Once the implants have healed, you will return to the surgeon to have the implant crown attached. The entire process can take several months, but it is worth the wait for many patients who want a long-term solution for their lost teeth.
How do you take care of dental implants?
While implants are solid and durable, they require care to keep them clean and free of bacteria. Here are some tips for dental implant care:
- Brush your teeth twice a day with a soft-bristle toothbrush. Floss daily. Use care when you brush and floss around the implant. Some patients use floss threaders to help access hard-to-reach places.
- Eat a balanced diet and limit sugary snacks to keep your teeth and gums healthy. You should eat soft foods and avoid hot liquids immediately following surgery.
- Schedule regular visits with us for checkups and professional cleanings. This is important for your implants and your natural teeth!
Let us know if you have any questions or concerns about dental implant maintenance.
What can you not do after dental implants?
Part of good dental implant care includes restricting some activities. These are a few things you should avoid doing after getting dental implants:
- Avoid eating hard foods or anything crunchy for the first few weeks after your surgery. This will give your dental implant time to heal and reduce the risk of damage.
- Avoid smoking or using tobacco products. Tobacco can cause inflammation and infection in the mouth, damaging dental implants.
- Avoid grinding your teeth. This can put unnecessary stress on your dental implants and lead to damage.
- Avoid biting your nails or chewing on ice. This can damage the dental implant and the surrounding natural teeth.
- Avoid using mouthwash that contains alcohol. Alcohol can cause dryness and irritation in the mouth, damaging your dental implants.
Restricting some of your normal activities can be uncomfortable, but it’s essential to be diligent with your dental hygiene during the healing process. Meticulous oral hygiene is the best way to avoid dental implant failure and gum disease.
How painful is recovery, and how long does it take?
There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. The recovery experience will depend on several factors, including your overall health and the number of implants placed.
However, we can provide some general guidelines. Most patients report feeling some soreness and tenderness for the first few days after surgery, and this can usually be controlled with over-the-counter pain medication. It is also common for the gums to be swollen and sensitive to hot or cold temperatures.
These uncomfortable side effects typically peak around day three or four and then gradually improve. As a result, most people feel well enough to return to work or their normal activities within seven to ten days after getting their new dental implants.
Schedule a consultation!
Contact Platinum Dental Group to schedule a consultation at one of our seven convenient locations. We will help you determine if dental implants are right for you.