How To Care For Your Dental Implants
By Jonathan D. Stone, D.M.D.
November 24, 2014
Category: Implant Dentistry
Tags: Dental Implants  
Dental Implants ImageAre you part of the three million people that have chosen implants to replace their missing teeth? With over 148 million Americans missing at least one tooth, dental implants have become a popular cosmetic procedure; however, even once you opt for treatment, your work doesn’t stop there. You must properly care for your implant after surgery to ensure that it lasts you a lifetime. Your dentist offers up these tips for maintaining healthy implants.
 

Right after surgery

 
As with any surgery, you may experience some discomfort including swelling, bruising, pain and minor bleeding. However, these symptoms are often mild and will go away after a couple days. However, if swelling or pain becomes worse, contact your dentist right away. We can prescribe pain medication or antibiotics, if necessary.
 
Since dental implant surgery is performed in stages, after each stage you will need to follow a soft-food diet until everything heals properly. This usually lasts about 10 days to two weeks. You may have dissolving stitches; however, if you do not, your dentist will need to remove them about a week and a half after surgery.
 

Dental implant success

 
Dental implants boast a success rate of up to 98 percent; however, there are still cases in which the jawbone does not properly fuse to the metal implant. This is often the case with heavy smokers who still opt for implants.
 
If the bone doesn’t fuse with the metal, we will remove the implant, clean the bone and attempt the procedure again in a few months.
 

What you can do

 
Once you get your dental implant, it’s up to you to keep it clean and healthy. We tell patients to treat their implants just like your natural teeth. Here is how you can maintain your implants for a lifetime:
 
  • Value good oral hygiene: Even though your implant might be artificial, it doesn’t mean you can neglect it. It’s important to still keep implants, crowns and your gums healthy and clean. If you’re having problems getting between teeth when you brush, you may want to opt for an interdental brush, which can slide easily between the tiny spaces between teeth. Also make sure you floss thoroughly each day.
  • See your dentist: Only your dentist can truly tell whether your oral health is up to par. If you weren’t doing so before your implant, you need to see your dentist every six months for routine maintenance and cleaning. Your dentist will be able to detect problems early on so they can be treated quickly and easily. Plus, your dentist can also check your implant to make sure everything is healing and working properly.
  • Maintain good dental habits: Stay away from hard candies and chewing ice, which can break your dental crown. Also, avoid tobacco products and limit stain-producing foods and beverages like coffee.
 
If you ever have questions about your dental implants or how to properly care for your smile, we are always here to help. Call us today if you have a question or if you need to schedule your six-month visit. Don’t put off your dental health!

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