Maintaining Your New Teeth
Dentists everywhere, like Dr. Elaine Chow, consider dental implants to be the gold standard of restorative dentistry. This is due to them being a permanent tooth replacement solution for patients with missing teeth by stimulating healthy jawbone growth and mimicking your tooth’s structure from root to crown. Ready to enjoy a complete smile that’s sure to last? Read our guide below to learn more about maintaining your implants after surgery. At Oasis Family Dental, our team is here to support you and your renewed smile every step of the way.
Caring for Your Teeth After Implant Placement
The days following your procedure are crucial to ensuring the success of the dental implant process. It’s important to follow your post-op instructions during the initial recovery to ensure you get the most out of your new smile.
Common dental implant post-operative instructions that Dr. Chow will give you include:
- Rinse with saline to help decrease the risk of infection
- Avoid rinsing or spitting for the first 24 hours after surgery
- Brush your teeth carefully without touching the surgical site
- Change your diet to just eating soft foods and cold liquids
- Abstain from smoking for five days after the surgery
- Apply an ice pack to reduce pain and swelling
Practicing these post-op aftercare instructions will help prevent unnecessary pain and complications in the long run. It’ll also allow your surgical site to heal while relieving the rest of your facial muscles.
Peri-Implantitis & Improper Aftercare
Not following your aftercare instructions can put you at risk of developing peri-implantitis, an infectious disease that causes swelling in the gums and bone structure surrounding the implant. It may even result in the potential loss of the new prosthetic tooth. That’s why it’s important to follow Dr. Chow’s aftercare instructions after undergoing implant surgery. Symptoms to watch for include:
- Bone loss near the dental implant
- Redness or swelling of the mucosa
- The implant not feeling secure
- Pain near the surgical site
- Bleeding gum line
If you’re experiencing any of the following symptoms, contact our Thunder Bay, ON office immediately at (807) 700-1383. We can schedule an appointment at your earliest convenience and examine your symptoms to determine treatment options.
Gentle Products for Long-Term Aftercare
After the recovery process following your implant procedure, it’s important to continue to properly care for your fixtures to get the most out of your newly restored smile. When caring for implant restorations, our implant dentist suggests the following dental products:
- Soft-Bristled Toothbrush: Using a soft-bristled toothbrush will decrease your chances of scratching your dental implants. Both electric and traditional toothbrushes are acceptable.
- Non-Abrasive Toothpaste: We recommend avoiding toothpaste that contains harsh ingredients to protect your implants. Abrasive ingredients like baking soda can damage your enamel over time.
- Nylon-Coated Dental Floss: Daily flossing removes plaque from hard-to-reach places your toothbrush can’t reach. Nylon-coated floss glides in between your teeth for easy and safe cleaning.
- Antibacterial Mouthwash: Dr. Chow recommends avoiding mouthwashes that contain alcohol or whitening ingredients since they can cause you to develop a dry mouth over time.
Frequently Asked Questions
What can I eat after my dental implant surgery?
You’ll be able to remove the first set of gauze and eat something soft one hour after your procedure. Avoid hot liquids or drinking from a straw for the first 24 hours. We recommend that you eat foods such as:
- Melted Cheese
- Cold Soup
- Mashed Bananas
Remember to chew away from your surgical site. Slowly move to firmer food after the first day, but let your comfort level guide you while you recover.
Can certain factors put me at a larger risk for peri-implantitis?
While poor oral hygiene during your recovery phase can put you at greater risk for peri-implantitis, there are certain factors that can put you at greater risk during your recovery phase. Some of the common risks of peri-implantitis include:
- Bacterial Infection
Our Thunder Bay, ON dentist, will provide you with instructions on how to care for your teeth following your implant procedure if you have any of the following listed above.
How do I care for my dental implants during the recovery phase?
It’s crucial to maintain good oral hygiene while your dental implants heal. During the first 24 hours after your surgery, rinse out your mouth with plain warm water. After the first day, you can begin to brush your teeth gently while being extra careful around the surgical site. Make sure to also take any medications that you’ve been prescribed by your dentist to ensure you feel as comfortable as possible.
Will I experience discomfort during the healing process?
It’s common to feel some form of soreness and tenderness during the healing process. However, you should slowly feel less discomfort with each passing day. If the pain worse or doesn’t go away, we encourage you to contact our Thunder Bay, ON practice as soon as possible. Swelling can also occur on the face near the surgical site but can be treated by applying a cold compress over two to three days.
Caring for Your New Smile After Dental Implant Surgery
The path to a brighter smile doesn’t just end after your dental implant procedure. Part of maintaining your oral health is caring for your new restorations to ensure your pearly whites last for many years to come. At Oasis Family Dental, Dr. Chow and our entire team can help you with caring for your smile following your surgery.
Caring for your dental implants can guarantee you many years of a healthy, complete smile. Contact our office today by calling (807) 700-1383 or filling out our online contact form. We proudly serve patients from the Intercity, Northwood, and West Fort William, ON areas. Our team is here to help navigate you through the procedure!