Dental implants replace missing or severely damaged teeth. This procedure starts with placing a titanium post under your gums, which functions as an artificial tooth root. Once the area surrounding this post has healed, the top portion that looks and functions similarly to the rest of your teeth will be attached. Committing to caring for your dental implant for several months helps ensure it heals properly.
Why Proper Care Is Essential After A Dental Implant Procedure
Dental implants come with a long healing process, and following your dentist’s guidelines is essential in preventing infection or other healing problems. You will receive more specific instructions from your dentist before your dental implant placement that consider your specific situation, but here’s what you can expect.
How Long Will It Take for My Dental Implant to Heal?
New dental implants generally take approximately 4-6 months to heal if properly cared for throughout the healing process. However, not being diligent about cleaning and protecting the area surrounding your implant for several weeks after receiving it can significantly prolong your healing process. Some common mistakes that may cause your dental implant to take longer to heal than it should include the following:
- Not finishing your antibiotic prescription
- Forgetting to rinse with salt water to keep the area clean
- Eating sharp, crunchy, or otherwise hard foods too soon
- Bumping the area with your toothbrush
- Drinking alcohol too soon
What to Expect After Implant Placement
You will likely experience varying levels of discomfort, swelling, and bruising during the weeks following dental implant placement, which can be managed using a cool compress and prescription or over-the-counter pain medication. You may also experience bleeding, especially during the first days after receiving your implant.
Caring for Your Dental Implant and Surgical Site
It is best to only eat liquid foods, such as smoothies, during the first 24 hours after receiving your implant, and you should avoid straws or hot liquids during this time. You can switch to other soft foods that are easy to chew once 24 hours have passed, and sticking to soft foods for approximately four weeks can help you avoid further injuring the implant site.
You should also avoid intense physical activity for 2-3 days after receiving your implant and smoking and consuming alcohol for approximately ten days. Good oral hygiene is one of the most important ways to help your implant heal properly. Brush your teeth twice daily with a soft-bristled toothbrush. Although, you should still use caution when brushing and flossing and avoid aggressive rinsing or touching the implant area with your toothbrush.
Following these guidelines helps reduce the risk of infection and implant failure. Even after the initial healing period, you should continue to take care of your dental implants with proper dental hygiene and regular visits to the dentist so they remain in good condition.
Choose Indian Trail Dental Studio for Quality Dental Implants
At Indian Trail Dental Studio, we know that getting one or more dental implants is a significant decision. We are here to answer any questions you may have throughout every step of the process. Our caring and knowledgeable team prioritizes transparency when considering dental implants or other major dental procedures. Contact us today to learn more about what makes us a top choice among residents of the Indian Trail, NC area or to schedule a consultation!