For dental implant surgery to be successful, you must carefully adhere to aftercare recommendations. The most critical period in the recovery process is the first few weeks after your dental implant procedure. Should you return to your regular routine too soon, the dental implant can fail and require uncomfortable repair. To guarantee the best outcome for your dental implants and gum care in Rochester, NY, you must follow the following dental implant aftercare guidelines:
The First 24 – 48 Hours Following Dental Implant Procedure
Minor bleeding is normal in the first 24 hours. It’s important to ensure that the surgical site is left undisturbed to allow it to heal properly.
After returning home, you should comply with the following aftercare:
- You should use ice to reduce swelling after the procedure. Apply 20 minutes on, 20 minutes off for the remainder of the day, up to 48 hours. Peak swelling typically occurs approximately 48 to 72 hours postoperatively.
- The local anesthetic used to numb the area will wear off within a few hours. It’s critical to avoid eating food until the anesthetic has worn off. If you rush this, you may accidentally bite the inside of your cheek or tongue, resulting in injury.
- Do NOT smoke after the procedure; this is the leading cause of implant and graft failure.
- For the first day after surgery, you should avoid vigorous rinsing or spitting. Those actions could dislodge the blood clot and promote bleeding.
- During this initial period, do not drink from a straw, as the suction could dislodge the clot, resulting in bleeding.
- Do not drink or eat any very hot or very cold beverages or foods. We recommend soft foods such as eggs, yogurt, soft cooked vegetables, pasta, soups – just make sure they aren’t too hot!
- If you have a temporary crown over the implant, avoid chewing in that area until instructed to do so by our staff members.
- Avoid laying in a flat position, if possible, as this can promote unwanted bleeding. Many patients find it most comfortable to rest with the head slightly propped up with pillows.
- Do not exercise or exert yourself for the first 48 hours following surgery. Increasing your heart rate or changes in your blood pressure could result in unwanted bleeding.
- Do NOT use an electric or manual toothbrush in the surgical area. Gently rinse the surgical area with the prescription rinse as directed. You will be instructed how to clean the area at your post-op visit. Clean all other areas of the mouth normally.
- Bruising is normal. However, taking Arnica Montana 30C as directed on the container may help to decrease the intensity of bruising. Arnica Montana 30C may be taken for 3 days after surgery.
The First 1 to 3 Weeks
Once the 24-48 hour period has passed, your restrictions lessen. But it’s still essential to maintain a strict dental implant and gum care regimen:
- Do not use your implant to chew until you have fully healed and you are directed to do so by our office.
- If your implant or the small metal cap associated with the implant becomes loose, please contact the office immediately. This could harm the surrounding tissue or cause it to heal improperly.
- Eat soft foods at first and nothing excessively cold or hot. As the extraction or incision site heals, you can begin adding warmer foods that require chewing.
- Don’t neglect to brush and floss, but be sure to avoid disturbing the extraction or incision site to prevent injury to the site. Do not use a manual or electric toothbrush on the surgical area until you are instructed to do so. Gently rinse with the prescription rinse, as directed. Your periodontist will give you detailed instructions on the best way to clean your teeth and gums during your healing.
- Keep exercise light for a week or two unless your periodontist says otherwise. Elevated heart rate and changes in blood pressure may cause bleeding to start again.
- Do not smoke or use tobacco as it could inhibit healing.
- Report any symptoms of illness during the first 14 days, including fever, shortness of breath, chills, muscle ache, or cough. These could indicate an infection or other underlying issue.
- Take your medications as prescribed to you until you finish them.
- Please contact our office if you have any questions or concerns. We are here to help you.
You may experience swelling or discomfort for a week following your procedure. Anti-inflammatory medications may be beneficial as well. Reach out to our team if you have any questions regarding pain management or if your discomfort does not resolve after the first week.
Gum Care and Healing Following Dental Implant Placement
Following dental implant surgery, it will take time for the implant to fully bond with your newly generated bone. This process is called osseointegration, and it could take 3-6 months to complete.
After the initial healing period ends, it will be essential to practice excellent oral hygiene to ensure that the implant doesn’t fail. Brush and floss twice daily and use mouthwash as instructed by your periodontist. Be sure to attend all scheduled check-ups so that we can monitor your progress.
Dental Implants and Gum Care in Rochester NY
Dental implants are the best option to replace missing teeth, but you must commit to caring for your gums, or your implants will fail. It’s also imperative to work with a superior periodontist, and Dr. Zahavi and Dr. Rapoport at Dental Implants & Periodontal Health of Rochester are experts in their field. We use a holistic approach in our practice and offer each of our patients the individual attention and care they deserve. Are dental implants right for you? Contact a member of our staff to schedule a consultation at 585-685-2005.