The average American adult between the ages of 20-64 is missing 7 teeth. Therefore, 1 dental implants are easily one of the most impactful innovations in the dental world. Artificial dental implants are surgically affixed into the jawbone in place of the missing tooth, mimicking both the appearance and function of a real tooth.
Those considering or preparing for the procedure may wonder how difficult it is to maintain a dental implant. The success of this procedure depends in part on a patient’s compliance with aftercare instructions.
Why Do Clients Choose Dental Implants?
Many clients elect for implants because they are comfortable, look natural, and don’t interfere with any neighboring teeth. Dental implants were found to have a 97% success rate up to 10 years after the initial procedure. 2 To reap these benefits of implants, it is important to properly care for them both directly after the initial procedure and beyond.
4 Tips to Maintain a Dental Implant Immediately Following Surgery
The first 24 hours up to 6 months following a dental implant procedure is the most critical period for healing. During this time, it’s imperative to care for your dental implant to ensure its success. Carefully follow the instructions indicated by your periodontist and consider the following tips to avoid implant complications:
#1: Maintain Dental Hygiene
Proper oral hygiene is essential to prevent plaque and bacteria around your new implant. Gently brush and floss your teeth twice daily – use extreme caution around the implant site for the first 2-4 weeks to avoid disturbing the surgical site. Your periodontist will give you precise oral care instructions and will prescribe a medicated mouthwash for you to use.
#2: Be Gentle Around the Implant Site
A common part of the healing process is the formation of a blood clot at the surgical site. If this clot is dislodged, it increases your risk for excessive bleeding, infection, and improper healing. To keep this clotting in place for a seamless recovery, make sure to avoid smoking, drinking through straws, intense chewing, spitting, stretching the lips and mouth, and touching the implant site.
#3: Avoid Certain Foods and Beverages
Another way to maintain a dental implant is to prevent any irritation to the healing site. You can do this by avoiding overly hot or cold food and anything crunchy, sharp, or sticky. Instead, switch to soft foods like applesauce, yogurt, ice cream, and mashed potatoes for at least the first week following surgery.
#4: Take All Medications as Prescribed
It is essential to take any antibiotics or oral rinses as prescribed by your periodontist to avoid a post-op infection. Over-the-counter pain medications can alleviate any mild discomfort and reduce inflammation.
2 Ways To Maintain a Dental Implant Long-Term
While dental implants are not at risk for cavities, the surrounding gum, bone, and tissue are still prone to disease and bone loss. If your dental implant develops too much plaque, you will be at higher risk for developing gingivitis and more severe periodontal disease (periimplantitis).
Keep your dental implants and the surrounding area healthy well with these two tips:
#1: Use A Soft-Bristled Toothbrush
In order to prevent your gum next to the dental implant from becoming injured, it is important to switch to a soft-bristled toothbrush. Electric toothbrushes are particularly successful in brushing away plaque and food particles.
#2: Floss Twice Daily
Flossing is your best line of defense against periodontal disease. There are a variety of innovative products on the market today that work to clean around implants, such as floss threaders or interdental brushes. We recommend flossing twice daily.
Improve Your Smile With Dental Implants Today
For a dental implant that looks and feels like a natural tooth, it is important to seek support from a trusted periodontist. The professionals at Dental Implants & Periodontal Health are committed to delivering top patient care. Contact our experienced team today. 585-685-2005.