Dental Implant Aftercare

Smile Makeover

After having dental implant surgery, patients are usually given specific instruction by their dentist on how to care for the implants immediately after the surgery. In the weeks that follow, it’s important that the patient continues these instructions in order to ensure that the healing process goes well.

Here are some tips on what people should and should not do after getting dental implant surgery:

What one should do

After surgery, one can expect to see blood in the saliva for up to 24 hours. Simply bite down gently on a gauze pad for up to 30 minutes in order to control the bleeding. If the bleeding persists for more than the aforementioned time period, consult the dentist for further instructions.

Swelling, another common occurrence after surgery, can be reduced by applying a cold ice pack or towel to the outer cheek area. If the patient ices consistently, the swelling may go away in as little as 48 hours.

To control pain after the local anesthetic wears off, take pain medications such as Tylenol or Ibuprofen. These are available over the counter and should be taken every three to four hours as needed. If the pain is severe, the dentist may prescribe stronger medication. But be sure to only take it as directed.

The dentist may prescribe an antibiotic for after the procedure in order to prevent bacteria from forming within the healing areas. Be sure to take the antibiotics prescribed by the dentist to prevent infection.

After surgery, the dentist will usually prescribe an oral rinse. This rinse should be used before bed at night and in the morning after breakfast. Rinse for approximately 30 seconds to cleanse the mouth. Warm salt water rinses are also recommended, at least four or five times a day, to help with healing and for keeping the area clean.

Visit the dentist that placed the implants regularly for proper cleaning of the dental implant. The dentist will be able to get to those hard to reach places and can spot any problems at an early stage.

What one should not do

Do not irritate the wound by touching it, brushing or rinsing the mouth vigorously or by putting foreign objects into the mouth. This will only retard the healing process.

Do not drink any hot foods or drinks or acidic foods immediately after surgery. Instead, drink fluids and soft foods to reduce the chances of irritating the wound. Drinks that are too cold may also be harmful, as they can produce discomfort.

Refrain from physical activity which may lead to throbbing and bleeding. Any activity that runs the risk of knocking against the mouth should be avoided completely. It is vital in the healing process that the area rest from normal activities such as eating or talking.

Do not wear dentures or flippers immediately after surgery. Wait up to ten days to do so so that the wound can heal properly.

Don’t use toothbrushes that are hard-bristled as this will irritate the wound. One may floss using oral irrigators but check with the dentist for further instructions.

Do not try to self-diagnose or treat any noticeable problems. That is the dentist’s job. Call the office if any problems are detected and schedule an appointment right away.

Patients should ensure they have all the supplies needed to care for their implant after surgery. Proper aftercare reduces pain and the risk of infection. Proper aftercare also ensures that the implant heals properly and lasts for a very long time.

If you have further questions regarding care after the surgery, please give us a call today.

Request an appointment here: or call Cameron Station Dental Care at (703) 651-1949 for an appointment in our Alexandria office.

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