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How to Care for Your Dental Implants Post-Op

We all know how effective dental implants are in replacing missing teeth, but only a few think about what happens after. When you decide to get a dental implant, you’ll need to undergo a surgical procedure, so knowing how to care for it is crucial.

Here’s what you must do for days and weeks following your dental implant procedure for smooth and fast healing.

Your Dental Implant Surgical Procedure

Before dental implant surgery, your dentist will give easy-to-follow post-op care instructions. These can help you know what you’ll need for your implants’ short- and long-term care.

Surgery Day

Some forms of anesthesia will require a ride arranged to ensure you return home safely, while some leave you conscious enough to take care of yourself post-op.

Regardless, discussing this aspect of the procedure with your dentist before surgery day is crucial to ensure you’ve had proper arrangements made.

After the dental implant placement, you’ll have gauze put over the surgical site(s). And you’ll need to have that intact for at least one hour. So, you’ll need to have the gauze in place, but make sure you do so using light pressure. 

You can only remove the gauze if you need to replace it with a new one due to excess bleeding. You’d want to exchange old gauzes with new ones every 30 to 45 minutes for the first 24 hours after your surgery.

Understand the Signs of Healing After 24 Hours

Besides bleeding, you can expect a few symptoms to occur during the first 24 hours of healing. These are normal but don’t hesitate to ask our dentists at Samaritan Dental Tijuana to address all concerns or questions you may have regarding your dental implants. 

The usual first-day signs of healing after a dental implant procedure include the following:

  • Swollen jawline
  • Discomfort or slight pain at the surgical sites
  • Rigid jaw muscles

The First Day 

Following your dentist’s post-op tips and instructions will go a long way in preventing complications with your dental implant procedure. 

Here are a few steps to follow during the first day following your surgery, which many dentists recommend.

  • Rest 
  • Put an ice pack on your jaw near the surgical site 
  • Take pain medications recommended by your dentist if needed
  • Avoid poking the surgical incisions 
  • Brush as usual, but avoid the implants
  • Do not consume alcohol or acidic drinks
  • Use a straw when drinking
  • Avoid smoking or using any tobacco products

Weeks After the Surgery

After a week into your surgery, here are more tips for facilitating healthy and smooth healing:

  • Rinse your mouth with warm salt water to ease swelling 
  • Do not participate in strenuous activities
  • Avoid alcoholic, acidic, and caffeinated drinks
  • Stick to soft and healthy foods
  • Use warm compresses instead of ice packs
  • Avoid smoking 

Frequently Asked Questions 

Q: What can’t I do after undergoing surgery for dental implants? 

A: Smoking is the number one thing you can’t do after undergoing teeth implant surgery. After all, the real success of the procedure relies on your jawbone growing around the titanium post and fusing. In short, you must ensure osseointegration occurs for long-term success.

Q: Is it okay to eat after a dental implant procedure?

A: Eating hot or hard-to-eat foods is not advisable until you fully recover from the surgery. Hence, you must stick with soft foods or undergo a liquid diet while recovering. And when drinking, you must use a straw not to place too much force or stress on your jawbone.

Q: How long will it take for me to fully recover from getting dental implant procedures?

A: Getting a single dental implant can take two weeks to recover fully. But note the implant site may feel tender, making it more sensitive than usual. And even after the initial healing process, it’ll continue healing and bonding with your jawbone in the next 3 to 6 months. 

Q: What maintenance do I need after dental implants are installed?

A: The daily care for implants is like with your natural teeth. You must keep them clean and plaque-free by brushing and flossing. But you’ll need to be more tender with post-op implants since they might become loose.

Q: How can I hasten the healing of my dental implants?

A: The main thing you need to do to speed up your dental implant’s healing is to get enough rest. Aside from that, it’s crucial to stay hydrated and stick to softer and healthier foods for the first few months after surgery. And smokers need to avoid smoking for a while as it can disrupt the healing process. 

If you wish to learn more about dental implants, schedule an appointment at Samaritan Dental Tijuana today or call us at (619) 344-0475 for more information!

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