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After Dental Implants: What You Need to Know

Image of a smiling patient with dental implantsPatients who have received dental implants are overwhelmingly happy with their results. Their new teeth give them the chance to once again eat the foods they love, laugh without worrying about gaps in their smile, and get rid of uncomfortable dentures. However, after dental implants and restorations are in place, proper oral hygiene and a few lifestyle adjustments are crucial to ensure your dental implants last a lifetime. Fortunately, taking care of your dental implants isn’t difficult.

Immediate Post-Procedure Care for Dental Implants

Immediately after your dental implant surgery, we provide specific post-operative instructions tailored to your situation. These instructions include details about aftercare, including pain management and dietary limitations while the surgical site heals. These instructions will contain information about:

  • Managing discomfort: Expect some discomfort and swelling after the procedure. Many patients can control pain with an over-the-counter medication, or we may prescribe pain medication if needed. We recommend applying ice packs to reduce swelling.
  • Oral hygiene: Good oral hygiene is crucial for preventing infection and promoting healing. For the first 24 hours, rinse the mouth with warm salt water. You can begin brushing on the second day following surgery. We will demonstrate how to brush and floss gently around the implant site to keep it clean.
  • Dietary restrictions: You will eat a soft diet for several days to allow the implant site to heal properly. Avoid hard, crunchy, or sticky foods that could irritate the area.
  • Avoid strenuous activities: In the immediate days following the procedure, vigorous exercise or activities that could disrupt the healing process are essential.

Taking Care of Your Dental Implants Long-Term

While dental implants are designed to be a permanent solution, they require ongoing care to ensure their longevity. Here are some long-term maintenance tips:

  • Regular dental visits: Schedule regular checkups with one of our dentists to monitor the health of your implants and surrounding tissues. They will assess the stability of the implants and address any concerns you may have.
  • Proper oral hygiene: Regularly brush and floss to keep your implants clean and free from plaque buildup. We can recommend special brushes or floss threaders to access hard-to-reach areas around the implants.
  • Quit smoking: Smoking impairs the healing process and increases the risk of implant failure. If you smoke, consider quitting to improve the long-term success of your dental implants.
  • Protecting against bruxism: If you have a habit of grinding or clenching your teeth (bruxism), discuss potential solutions with us. Grinding can put excessive pressure on implants and lead to complications.

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Dietary Guidelines for Protecting Dental Implants

While dental implants are durable, certain dietary habits can impact their longevity. You can eat almost any food you enjoy, but some should be enjoyed in moderation to protect your new teeth and implants.

Avoid hard foods such as nuts and candy, which could damage delicate gum tissue or irritate the area. The same goes for crunching ice or chewing on pencils or pens. Biting down hard on unforgiving surfaces or using your new teeth to open packages can strain the implants.

Your dental implants and restorations cannot develop cavities, but gum disease is still a possibility. Limit sugary foods and drinks to minimize your risk of gum disease, which can lead to loosening and eventual failure of implants. Whenever possible, brush and floss after eating or drinking sugary snacks.

Drink lots of water to maintain saliva production. A dry mouth encourages bacterial growth and can contribute to gingivitis and gum disease. Saliva and water wash away food debris and unhealthy bacteria around the gumline.

Recognizing Signs of Complications and When to Contact Your Dentist

While complications after dental implant surgery are rare, being vigilant and recognizing potential signs of trouble is essential. Contact your dentist if you experience any of the following:

  • Persistent pain or swelling
  • Loose or shifting implants
  • Gum recession or bleeding gums
  • Pain when biting down or chewing

Contact our office immediately if you experience any of the above symptoms after your initial healing period. We will schedule an appointment to see you as quickly as possible to see if we can save the implants and alleviate infection.

Importance of Regular Dental Checkups for Implant Health

Regular dental checkups are essential for maintaining the health and longevity of your dental implants. During these visits, we will monitor the stability of your implants and check for signs of complications such as bone loss or infection. Twice yearly professional cleaning helps remove plaque and tartar buildup around the implants. This reduces the risk of gum disease and implant failure. A checkup is also the ideal time to ask any questions you have.

Properly caring for your dental implants can help you enjoy their benefits for years to come. If you experience any issues or concerns, the dentists at Martin Family Dentistry PA are always available to help. You can contact us at Shawnee Dentist Office Phone Number 913-631-4373.

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Office Address

6130 Nieman Rd.
Shawnee, KS 66203

tel. Shawnee Dentist Office Phone Number 913-631-4373
fax. 913-369-7579
Link to Martin Family Dentistry PA home page

Office Hours

8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Monday - Thursday

8:00 AM - 1:00 PM
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