During the first part of your dental implant procedure, a titanium root will be placed in your tooth socket to integrate with the bone over the next few weeks or months. At this stage, it’s very important to care for your implant as much as possible. Here are some ways you can ensure your implant’s success:
- Most importantly, don’t disturb the wound in the days immediately following dental implant surgery. Don’t rinse, spit, or touch your mouth for at least 24 hours after implantation.
- Take antibiotics as instructed. This will prevent the surgical site from becoming infected.
- Bite down on gauze pads to reduce any bleeding you might experience. Maintain constant (but gentle) pressure and wait until bleeding lessens. Bleeding is normal in the first 24 hours after surgery.
- Swelling is a normal aftereffect of surgery, and you can reduce it by elevating your head and reducing your activity levels. Ice packs should be used continuously in the first 48 hours.
- Your anesthetic will wear off shortly after dental implant surgery, so try to take pain medication before that happens. Luckily, any over-the-counter pain medication should be sufficient to deal with post-surgery pain.
- Keep the surgical site as clean as possible. You can brush your teeth normally, but don’t agitate any sutures or brush the implant itself. After the first 24 hours, you can also begin using your prescribed rinse twice daily along with a warm saltwater rinse that you can use after every meal or snack.
- Try to restrict your diet to soft foods right after surgery, but return to a normal diet as soon as you feel like you can. No matter what, make sure you’re drinking plenty of fluids and staying hydrated.
- Be sure to use your night guard or temporary dentures, but not until you’ve been out of surgery for 10 days.
- Don’t smoke for at least two weeks after dental implant surgery. Smoking will increase your risk for infection or implant failure.
Dental implants have an extremely high rate of success, and once they’re complete you can care for them like normal teeth. Even if it seems like a lot of care now, it will be more than worth it in the long run.