Five Important Dental Implant Aftercare Tips
Dental implants allow you to permanently and comfortably replace one or more missing teeth. If you’ve recently decided to pursue dental implant surgery, then you should know how to care for your new prosthesis after the procedure.
When you get dental implants with Andrew G. Mortensen, DDS, in Fountain Valley, CA, you receive top-tier care in a warm, inviting, and educational environment. From the moment you step into our office, we guide you along every step of the dental implant process, including proper aftercare and recovery tips.
In this post, Dr. Mortensen explores five dental implant aftercare tips. Following these tips could help you replace missing teeth faster, more comfortably, and more successfully after implant surgery.
1. Begin Aftercare Immediately
Patients should begin implant aftercare immediately after surgery. This includes arranging for someone to drive them home after their procedures.
During the procedure, patients are under the effects of anesthesia. Experts recommend not driving or operating heavy machinery for at least 24 to 48 hours after receiving anesthesia. Subsequently, patients need a trusted friend or family member to drive them home after their procedures.
Other immediate aftercare tips include:
- Avoiding touching the implant with the fingers or tongue
- Sleeping off the residual effects of the anesthesia
- Keeping the hands and mouth clean while conducting oral hygiene or implant care
2. Control Bleeding
It is normal for patients to experience bleeding after implant surgery. However, uncontrolled bleeding can delay the healing process and increase the likelihood of postoperative complications, like infections or implant rejection.
Patients can control bleeding by applying gentle pressure to the surgical site with a clean gauze pad or unused tea bag. We recommend repeating the process whenever necessary for the next 72 hours after surgery.
3. Manage Pain and Swelling
Patients should preempt pain and discomfort by taking either prescription or over-the-counter painkillers before the anesthesia starts dissipating. We recommend that patients take their preferred pain medication on the ride home to begin managing their pain.
Furthermore, patients should follow the instructions on the medication’s packaging carefully, such as:
- Waiting six hours between doses
- Not mixing the medication with alcohol
- Avoiding heavy machinery or driving while under the drug’s effects
Many painkillers provide much-needed relief from inflammation and swelling, such as ibuprofen and naproxen. However, patients can reduce swelling through other methods, like:
- Keeping the head elevated
- Applying ice packs to the cheeks
- Significantly reducing activity
4. Keep Brushing and Flossing
Oral hygiene is incredibly important to the healing and recovery process after dental implant surgery. Therefore, our Fountain Valley patients should continue to:
- Gently floss once a day
- Carefully brush twice a day
- Softly rinse with antiseptic mouthwash or salt water between meals
5. Avoid Harmful Behaviors, Foods, and Beverages
Patients must avoid overly hard or sticky foods after dental implant surgery. Instead, they should choose softer, more implant-friendly foods, like:
- Meal-replacement shakes
- Mashed potatoes
- Scrambled eggs
We also recommend that patients abstain from smoking and alcohol until the implant is fully healed (approximately three to six months after placement).
Schedule a Dental Implant Consultation
If tooth loss is affecting your quality of life, contact Dr. Andrew Mortensen in Fountain Valley now. He can help you replace missing teeth with biocompatible and durable titanium dental implants. Schedule your dental implant consultation now by calling (714) 964-4183 or by sending our team a message.