Restoration Dentistry

Dental implant aftercare

dental implant aftercare

The significance of post-implant care is so high that is considered as an effective factor by dentists in the success rate of dental implants. As it is known, the use of dental implants has become one of the most widely used dental practices used as a kind of dental work in both cosmetic and therapeutic fields in order to fill the gaps between teeth and missing teeth.

The significance of post-implant care may be explained as, if these care tips will not be followed, some infections may develop in the gums, jawbone, and the adjacent teeth. In addition to the additional costs, these complications will cause you problems. Hence, it is better to ask all the important points about the post-implant care from your dentist or orthodontist and observe all the care with the necessary knowledge.

image of dental implant

Post-implant Initial Care

Dentists introduce various methods concerning post-implants initial care, and paying attention to each of these cases may affect the further success of the implant. Some of them are:

  1. Do not manipulate or stimulate the dental implant area.
  2. Go home immediately after dental implants and rest very well.
  3. Avoid heavy activities like swimming or other sports for a week.
  4. Ask your dentist to prescribe appropriate anti-inflammatory drugs and painkillers for you.
  5. It is better not to wash your mouth until 8 hours after the implant.
  6. It is recommended to use certain mouthwashes until the day of suturing.
  7. To reduce the swelling created after the implant, you can use ice water compress.
  8. It is better to put sterile gas by pressure on the desired area to control bleeding in case that the bleeding is more than usual.
  9. Avoiding coffee, tea, and Nescafé in large quantities besides avoiding smoking is one of the fundamental things in post-implant care, particularly in the first days after implantation.
  10. Fully quit drinking alcohol, tea, coffee, and smoking cigarettes for 72 hours.
  11. Avoid eating hard foods like nuts for a week.

Post-implant Long-term and Permanent Care

Some post-implant cares do not relate to the first few days after implant surgery. To increase the implant life and its optimal use, it is necessary to always observe some points, including regular use of toothbrushes and floss. Of course, a toothbrush should not be used until one day after the implant. It is worth noting that the use of water and salt solution or mouthwash will help maintain the health of the gums and dental implants.

Ask your dentist to schedule your next visit and follow-up. Visit your dentist in time for post-implant follow-ups. Always care about the health of your dental implant, and see your dentist immediately if you experience an abnormal infection or inflammation in the area.

Complications of Post-Implant Carelessness

Because surgery is required to place the implant base in the jawbone, not properly taking care of it may cause problems. Tooth infection is the most common problem due to the lack of care after dental implants. These infections may affect the base of the implant as well as compromising its position. For this reason, we see the failure of the implant in most infection. Besides, not following the diet may cause the implant base to loosen, in turn leading to problems like gum damage and gum diseases.

a woman showing dental implant

Bleeding in the area is another possible complication due to the lack of care after dental implants. Usually after dental implants, bloody discharge will be observed that will stop after a few hours. Nevertheless, it is better to contact your dentist and follow the dentist’s advice if the bleeding lasts longer than usual.

Pain and swelling may be a complication of dental implants, too. Your dentist will usually prescribe medication to control pain and swelling, which may be used as directed by the doctor as soon as you feel pain and swelling.

Beware of Infection

The largest cause of early failures in the integration of implant with bone is the infection or instability of the implant in place; while the latter is related to the technique of the operation and the surgeon, the implant infection will depend a lot on the subsequent care. Continuous washing with medicated mouthwashes as well as the use of chlorhexidine-impregnated cotton swabs or very soft toothbrushes for removing food particles and debris from the surgical site, besides the use of antibiotics prescribed by the surgeon to the last dose and at intervals will be helpful.

See a dentist once every 6 months

Regular 6-month visits to the dentist are necessary for in-depth measurement of the gingival grooves, besides the possibility of inflammation, food impaction, and bone resorption around the implant. If the surgery and placement of the prosthesis has been done by one person, you should visit him/her, but if after the implant was placed in the jaw, the surgeon referred you to another dentist for the loading step, your annual visits for implant follow-up should be to the dentist who performed your prosthesis. Of course, in case that during the annual examinations, the reconstructive specialist determines you in need of being visited by the surgeon, then the specialist him/herself will refer you to the primary surgeon.

Do not use sharp objects to clean the implant

Never use toothpicks or sharp metal tools for cleaning food around your dental implants, since these objects may damage the fragile barrier of the soft tissue around the implant and cause inflammation at the site or causes the implant to come out. Implanted teeth should be brushed thoroughly three times a day.

Expect years of useful life for implants

Nowadays, the use of new technologies in the overall design and construction of external surfaces of dental implants has greatly increased their service life in the jaws and implants are typically prepared for years of work in the jawbone, this useful life relies on many different conditions, from the status and quality of bone and gum tissue, to the surgical technique as well as the quality of the implant itself, and particularly the post-implant care and maintenance. The optimal efficiency of this dental implant will generally depend on maintenance, oral hygiene, annual visits to the dentist, besides adherence to his/her health recommendations.

Dental implant aftercare FAQ

1-After dental implants, is bleeding from the nose normal?

If the implant is done in the upper jaw, you may have nose bleeding and this is normal.

2-How can I sleep after a dental implant?

After a dental implant, you may be afraid to sleep on your face. This fear is perfectly justified, since sleeping on the face may impair the blood flow to the area. It is advised to put two pillows on both sides of your face for the first three nights so as not to shake your head during sleep and not to sleep on your face. Putting a warm towel on the pillow next to the face will help decrease possible pain and inflammation.

3-How long do we feel pain and swelling after a dental implant?

The pain and swelling will vary depending on the extent of the implant surgery and the patient’s physiology. Nevertheless, what is certain is that the swelling and pain may be controlled with a simple analgesic. The pain and swelling will last for up to 72 hours, and if your pain and swelling do not reduce, you should suspect the progressing pain’s cause.

4-What medicine will be required to use after dental implants?

It is up to the dentist to diagnose the drugs needed for the patient; however, the use of antibiotics is common.

5-Why antibiotics are prescribed after dental implants?

Since infections may happen in the area of ​​the dental implant, it is best to use antibiotics for a few days to control the infection. In fact, the implant base is a foreign body in the jaw area that may lead to a primary infection.

6-Is it necessary to employ a stimulator for post-implant care?

The stimulator helps soften the tissue through creating a gentle massage on the gum tissue. Nevertheless, their use is not mandatory.

7-Is post-implant care just related to the first few days?

As it is known, oral hygiene is an issue that has to be constantly addressed, intensified when using implants, and this is not limited to the first few days.

8-Does post-implant care include visiting a doctor?

Dental examinations are of the tasks that should be normally done once a year, and this period may be reduced when using a dental implant, however the time is generally determined by the dentist.

9-How long after a dental implant can we chew food?

For the first three weeks to a month, do not chew with dental implants. If your implant surgery is a one-step procedure and the abutment is closed, you must avoid chewing food on the implanted site for at least 3 to 4 weeks after the implant procedure. If you have dentures putting pressure on the surgical site, do not use them anymore or a layer of soft primer material is placed inside the denture by the dentist, if necessary.

Dr Abdolreza Jamilian Orthodontist
About Dr Abdolreza Jamilian Orthodontist

Dr. Jamilian, an orthodontist, has a specialized fellowship in orthodontic surgery and maxillofacial abnormalities and is a full-time professor in the orthodontics department of the Dentistry School of the Islamic Azad University. He is member of Iranian and European Board of Orthodontics (EBO) and is a member of the Iranian, American and European Orthodontists Association.

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