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Dental Implant Care

Proper dental implant maintenance is needed after dental implant treatment, not just straight after, but forever. Learn how to look after your implants.

Dental Implant Maintenance – How To, And Why You Should, Look After Your Implants

While there are certain things you shouldn’t do in the first few days after surgery like drinking cold beverages and exercising strenuously; cleaning dental implants at home is perhaps the single best thing you can do, to ensure that your implants remain healthy for many years to come. In fact…

Did you know that cleaning your implants is done in exactly the same way as cleaning your natural teeth?

Thorough brushing, flossing, and rinsing with a good quality ‘no alcohol’ mouthwash is key. However, because your implants are placed into the jawbone just like your natural teeth, there are certain points you need to bear in mind.

Food particles and bacteria can become lodged in between the dental implant and gum tissue. If this isn’t removed, it can lead to plaque which in turn can cause an infection. While you don’t need special toothpaste for dental implants per se (a good quality low abrasive type will suffice) you may want to consider tools like…

Inter-proximal brushes
Good quality dental floss or…
Oral irrigators also known as water flossers

These are all great tools for removing those troublesome food particles. By combining good dental implant care and maintenance with regular professional dental cleaning, there’s no reason why your implants shouldn’t last for many years to come.

So what about those first few days
What to expect after implant surgery?

When it comes to dental implant care after surgery, the first 48 hours are usually the most pivotal. Some symptoms you might experience within a day or two are:

• Bruising
• Swelling
• Tenderness and
• Discomfort

The good news is that these are all signs that the body is healing itself and also because we use digital computer-guided flapless surgery techniques, there are no sutures needed, little or no bleeding, and generally less discomfort overall. That said it’s still important that you…

• Don’t disturb the implant site
• Brush your teeth using a soft toothbrush, avoiding the surgical areas
• Wait for 24 hours before carrying out salt water rinses 2-3 times a day
• Apply compression packs to ease any swelling if needed
• Rest!

In the coming days and weeks after your dental implant treatment, you need to adopt a good oral routine as per the dental implant aftercare instructions that we’ll give you. During this time, brushing, flossing, and rinsing should become second nature; but if you’re still experiencing symptoms such as pain, swelling, and bleeding several weeks later, then it’s important that you contact us.

A word on pain

Let’s not forget that undergoing an implant-based restoration is a surgical procedure and therefore patients can expect a little post-surgery tenderness – although using digital implant techniques can often mean a reduction in any pain felt. In some cases, however, patients may feel more pronounced pain and in these instances, it’s best to take painkillers before the anaesthetic wears off. Generally, patients can use over-the-counter medications such as Paracetamol or Ibuprofen to ease any pain, which usually subsides within a few days. However, if pain continues or can’t easily be controlled, then contact us for further advice.

You might have heard horror stories about having to eat liquidised foods for months on end, but this simply isn’t true. In fact – and although every patient is different – some degree of normal eating within reason can usually be resumed within a few weeks. To give you an indication, here’s a rough timeline…

What about your dental implant recovery diet?

You might have heard horror stories about having to eat liquidised foods for months on end, but this simply isn’t true. In fact – and although every patient is different – some degree of normal eating within reason can usually be resumed within a few weeks. To give you an indication, here’s a rough timeline…

The first 24 hours
Avoid hot or extremely cold foods because they can agitate the implant site. Instead, lukewarm soups, yogurts, soft scrambled egg and shakes are good but avoid taking drinks through a straw. In addition, re-hydration immediately after surgery is very important.

Did you know that one of the most common causes of postoperative nausea is dehydration?

The first 7 days
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3-6 months
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After bone fusion

This is the point when patients can usually eat whatever they like without any issues. This includes foods such as juicy apples, raw veg, lean meat or even nuts and seeds.

While adopting a dental implant aftercare diet may be seen as a bit of a hassle initially, it’s well worth it, to be able to eat whatever you like in months to come.

Top tips….

• Try not to skip meals because your body needs food to aid recovery
• Drink plenty of water – Remember hydration is key
• Reintroduce foods gradually, avoiding hard crunchy foods until after bone fusion.

So there you have it, everything you need to know about dental implant maintenance after surgery and in the future. The golden rule is to follow any dental implant aftercare instructions very closely. If you combine this with regular visits to the dentist, you’ll continue to have a great looking smile for many years to come.

As your digital dentist we’re a cutting-edge, fully digitalised dental surgery, creating beautiful smiles every day. For more information contact Digital Dental Surgery Sydney on (02) 8294 5812.