Many people today with missing teeth are choosing to close the gaps in their smiles with dental implants. Dental implant surgery is a procedure that uses a screw-like post made of titanium to replace the tooth root and an artificial tooth crown that looks and feels just like a natural tooth. By fusing with the jawbone, a dental implant can restore the full structure of a missing tooth right down to the root, wherein it reinforces the surrounding bone tissues.
Because many of the patients that our Green Bay dentists see undergo dental implant procedures to replace missing teeth, we’d like to share these tips that will help ensure that your post-implant recovery goes smoothly and without any serious complications.
Post-Implant Recovery Tips
Following your dental implant procedure, you should not disturb the surgical site. Avoid rinsing, spitting or touching the area on the day of surgery. It is normal to experience a small amount of bleeding during the first 24 hours after the procedure. You can control excessive bleeding by placing a sterile gauze pad on the site and biting down with slight pressure for several minutes. Some swelling can also be expected after surgery. To minimize swelling, apply an ice pack to you the cheek over the surgical site.
Keeping Your Mouth Clean
It is essential to keep your mouth clean. No rinsing of any kind should be done until the day after your surgery. Then you can begin to gently rinse your mouth at least 3 times per day using a cup of lukewarm water mixed with ½ teaspoon of salt. After the first day, rinse your mouth with saltwater every four hours and following meals to gently flush out particles and food. You can start to brush your teeth gently on the second day following the procedure.
Limit Physical Activity
You should plan on taking it easy for the first day. Avoid excessive bending, lifting or strenuous activities that can result in increased bleeding, swelling and pain. It’s best to avoid strenuous activities for 3 or 4 days following surgery.
You may experience some pain and discomfort following the procedure. You can take an over-the-counter pain reliever such as Tylenol or ibuprofen according to the package directions. If you’ve been prescribed a pain reliever, take the medicine as directed. Many prescribed pain relievers make you groggy and will slow down your reflexes so do not drive a vehicle or work around machinery and avoid drinking alcohol.
Fluid intake is important so drink all the fluids you desire such as water, tea, broth, juice, soups and milkshakes. Avoid drinking hot fluids for the first 24 hours. You should eat soft, cool foods only for the first 24 hours that require little or no chewing as these types of foods are most easily tolerated during this time. Since your food intake will be limited for a couple of days, you can compensate by increasing your fluid intake. Drink at least five or six glasses of fluid each day and try not to miss meals.
Your individual dental implants case will be unique, as no two mouths are alike. Contact our Green Bay family dentistry office if you have any questions about post-implant care. We have given you some specific verbal and written instructions for proper home care. Follow these instructions carefully as doing so will help you avoid complications that can delay your recovery.