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Dental Implant Do’s and Don’ts: How to Care for Your New Prosthetic

January 8, 2024

Filed under: Uncategorized — cordiniperio @ 4:06 pm
CGI of a dental implant with its crown inserted in a lower arch

Dental implants are considered the ideal tooth replacement method because they include a support rod that functions like a root. As a result, they provide unique advantages over other restorations like dentures or dental bridges. For example, it’s the only option that stimulates your jawbone to prevent deterioration. Though they’re typically successful, there’s a chance your dental implant could fail. Therefore, it’s important to care for yours properly so you can make the most of its many benefits for years to come. Read on to learn a few do’s and don’ts to keep your restoration in prime condition!

DO Follow Post-Op Instructions

Your implant site is particularly vulnerable immediately after surgery, so it’s imperative that you follow your dentist’s aftercare instructions in detail. They don’t want the area to become infected, so you’ll need to keep your mouth clean without disturbing the wound while it’s recovering. Your dentist might recommend that you rinse your mouth with warm salt water three times a day immediately after your appointment, for example, to disinfect the area without scrubbing away any blood clots.

DO Plan Ahead

Your body needs plenty of downtime to heal after surgery and your prosthetic tooth is no exception. You’ll need to take a break from rigorous activities so you can get quality rest which might mean taking time off work or school to recover. Many organizations require advanced notice and approval, so be sure to submit your request well ahead of your procedure. You should also avoid strenuous activities that could cause excess bleeding afterward, so you may need to ask friends or family for help around the house for a little while.

DO Manage Discomfort

It’s normal to feel some aches and swelling as the local anesthesia wears off, but there’s no reason for you to suffer. If your dentist prescribed pain medications, use them as directed for some well-deserved relief. If they didn’t, it’s usually safe to take over-the-counter solutions like Tylenol or ibuprofen to take the edge off. You might also find it helpful to hold an ice pack to the side of your aching face to reduce swelling and provide a blissful numbing sensation.

DON’T Consume Hot Foods or Drinks

Your surgical site needs to form a blood clot to heal but eating or drinking anything super-hot can dislodge it, which extends your recovery period. To keep things running smoothly, avoid anything at extreme temperatures for a little while. You should also avoid drinking through straws, as the force of the suction can have the same result.

DON’T Indulge in Bad Habits

Alcohol and tobacco use are two known factors that contribute to dental implant failure. Cigarettes and vapes contain nicotine which reduces blood flow and restricts oxygen levels which hinders healing. Because of this, your body can’t deliver essential nutrients to your teeth, gums, or jawbone. Alcohol, meanwhile, is a diuretic that can dehydrate you which leads to dry mouth. This encourages the growth of harmful bacteria that contribute to gum disease, which can infect the surgical site.

Now that you know how to care for your dental implant properly, you can make the most of it for years to come!

About the Author

Dr. Franco Cordini has over 20 years of experience in private practice providing patients with a full range of oral health care services, including dental implants. He earned his dental degree from the Creighton University School of Dentistry and then completed extensive specialist training for periodontics at the University of Louisville. He strives to provide the highest quality treatments using state-of-the-art technology in a calm, comfortable atmosphere. If you’re interested in dental implants, you’re welcome to request an appointment on the website or by calling (502) 425-5010.

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