Getting dental implants surgically placed in your jawbone is the first step in rebuilding your smile after tooth loss. In order to make sure that your implants heal correctly and are able to last a long time, you need to be careful in the few days after your procedure. Here are seven easy tips for taking care of your mouth after getting dental implants in Dallas.
1. Control the Bleeding
The implant site may continue bleeding for up to 72 hours after the surgery. To cut down on bleeding, firmly bite on a gauze pad, changing out the gauze every hour or so. Alternatively, you could bite down on a moist black tea bag. This helps a blood clot form over the site.
2. Reduce Swelling
It’s possible for the area to swell or bruise the day after your procedure. If it bothers you, hold an ice pack wrapped in a towel to your face for 10 minutes at a time. Sleeping in a propped-up position can also minimize swelling.
3. Manage the Discomfort
If you were prescribed pain medication, taking the first dose before your anesthesia fully wears off can reduce pain. If not, then taking an over-the-counter pain reliever, such as Tylenol, as directed is often enough to ease discomfort.
4. Get Plenty of Rest
Many patients are able to return to work after a day or two, but you should avoid strenuous exercise for the next week. If your job requires significant physical activity, try to take several days off. Also, aim for at least eight hours of sleep each night. Much of the healing process takes place while you’re sleeping!
5. Keep Up with Your Oral Hygiene
Failing to keep your mouth clean can cause an infection, which is the leading cause of implant failure. Brush and floss as normal, but avoid the implant site. For the first week, rinse your mouth with a saltwater solution after every meal to remove excess food debris.
6. Watch What You Eat
While healing, chew on the opposite side of your mouth as the implants. Avoid hot or spicy foods and drinks. Do not sip through a straw, as it could dislodge the blood clot and cause serious pain.
7. Avoid Alcohol and Tobacco
Smoking and drinking alcohol can hinder the healing process. It’s wise to avoid smoking for at least two months after your surgery. Wait 72 hours at the minimum before consuming alcohol.
By following these tips after dental implant surgery, you can greatly improve the chances of your implants being successful in the long run. You’ll have a newly restored smile before you know it!
About the Author
Dr. Cameron “Cam” Wendling is an oral surgeon in Dallas with almost 10 years of dental and surgical experience. After earning his dental doctorate from West Virginia University, he continued his training in oral and maxillofacial surgery. If you would like additional information on how to take care of your mouth after dental implant surgery, visit Dr. Cam’s website or give him a call at 972-960-1111.