Are you missing one or more teeth, or do you have a severely damaged tooth that needs to be extracted? Have we told you that you are a good candidate for a dental implant? We know that some of our patients are considering having implants placed but are concerned about proper aftercare. Read on to learn how you can ensure that your implants stay healthy.
There are Three Stages of Implant Care
The care really begins at home before surgery. If you’ve been practicing good oral hygiene, you are more likely to have the healthy gums required for an implant. Your gums should be pink and firm, not red or inflamed. If the tooth to be replaced was lost due to gum disease, that condition will have to be treated first. In severe cases of gum disease where there has been bone loss, you may need a bone graft to provide a base for the implant.
Immediately After Surgery
Since a dental implant requires surgery to place it in the jaw, it is possible that immediately after surgery the implant area may be slightly sore and swollen. Eat soft foods and drink clear liquids for the first few days to reduce irritation. The main reason implants fail is infection. You can reduce the risk by using saltwater rinses to help ward off infection. If prescribed, be sure to take the full course of antibiotics as a precaution, even if you feel there isn’t an infection present.
Maintain regular checkups so we can monitor the implant and surrounding gum tissue for any developing issues. Always brush using a soft toothbrush and low abrasive toothpaste to avoid scratching the surface of the implant. When you floss, use unwaxed or implant-specific floss. A water flosser is a useful cleaning tool, especially for hard-to-reach spaces.
If you notice any swelling, redness, or pain, make an appointment with us for an examination. When there is an infection, prompt action makes treatment easier and more effective.
The Safe, Permanent Replacement Option
Caring for a dental implant is not very different than caring for your natural teeth. With proper care, which includes regularly scheduled checkups, a dental implant can last a lifetime. If you or a loved one have been considering a dental implant, call our office today and schedule an examination. We can answer all your questions and determine if an implant will work for you.