Dental implants have become a popular option for replacing missing teeth. According to the American Academy of Implant Dentistry, more than 3 million people have had implants. Compared to dentures and bridges, implants offer a more natural and longer-lasting solution.
What makes dental implants unique is that they are surgically fixed into the jawbone of the missing tooth. They therefore look, feel, and function like a natural tooth. Furthermore, they don’t require support from the adjacent teeth like dental bridges and dentures. This ensures your healthy teeth remain untouched and healthy.
Since everyone is unique, dental implant treatment is different for each patient. For instance, some patients may have to undergo bone grafting before getting an implant if their jawbone isn’t healthy.
On the other hand, patients with healthy jawbone and gums may get implants on the same day as the tooth extraction. These are called immediate dental implants. After extraction, patients have to wait for the extraction area to heal before the implant is placed.
To understand your specific treatment plan, you should visit your dentist for an exam. The dentist will evaluate your condition and create a personal treatment plan. If you don’t qualify for dental implants, the dentist may suggest another good option, such as dentures or dental bridges.
To ensure that the implant lasts, proper dental care is essential. This ensures that the implant fuses with the underlying bone quickly and efficiently. Poor hygiene can cause infection in the tissues around the dental implant leading to problems and removal of the implant.
How do you practice good dental implant care?
Since getting an implant involves surgery, you are likely to expect some discomfort after the procedure, including:
To manage this discomfort, your dentist is likely to prescribe some medications. Pain medication and antibiotics are essential to relieve pain and prevent infection at the implant site. You can also place ice on the cheek around the implant to control pain and swelling. If these problems persist or get worse, you should contact your dentist or oral surgeon immediately.
Immediately after the implant surgery, you may have to stick to soft and cool/warm foods for a few days. You can eat soup, eggs, and other soft foods for the first three days or according to your treatment plan. Also, make sure to hydrate well. After that, you can resume your semi-regular diet. You should try to not eat hard or sticky foods as they can damage the implant. Foods to avoid include:
Good oral hygiene is essential for quick healing and recovery. You should be careful not to push the implant with overzealous brushing and flossing. When cleaning, carefully brush around the implant. For best results, follow your dentist’s instructions for brushing and flossing.
Furthermore, avoid abrasive dental products as they can damage the implant or cause extreme discomfort.
You should have someone to drive you home after the surgery. After any surgery, you should rest for the next 24 hours. During this period, you should avoid any strenuous activity or moving around. You can return to your routine the next day in most cases.
Not only for your general health, but you should also avoid alcoholic beverages and tobacco products for your dental implants. Since dental implants take about six months to fuse with the underlying bone, smoking and drinking can slow down healing or cause the implant to fail. If you’re ready for dental implants, you should be prepared to quit smoking and drinking.
Even after the implants heal, you should still visit your dentist every year or sooner if warranted for dental exams and cleanings. During these visits, your dentist will check to see whether everything is going according to the treatment plan.
Do you have further questions about dental implant care, or are you interested in a dental implant procedure? Contact Randolph Dental Group to book your dentist appointment today.