A How-to Guide on Dental Implant Aftercare
Dental implants are artificial tooth roots that an experienced dental professional surgically places into the jawbone. Once healed, dental implants support realistic restorations, like dental crowns, bridges, or dentures.
The dedicated team at Dentistry at The Heights has decades of experience providing quality tooth-replacement options to patients in Brooklyn and Brooklyn Heights, NY. Using advanced techniques and cutting-edge technology, our team can help patients restore their dental function, enhance their oral health, and boost their confidence with dental implants.
Before getting dental implants, patients should understand how to facilitate proper healing after the procedure. Here, our team explores helpful dental implant aftercare tips to limit potential complications during recovery and healing.
How to Control Bleeding and Swelling
It is normal to experience swelling and bleeding immediately following dental implant surgery. Patients can control bleeding and swelling by:
- Gently biting on clean gauze pads to staunch blood flow
- Lightly pressing ice packs to the side of the face in 15- to 20-minute intervals
- Eating very soft foods
- Avoiding excessively hot foods and beverages
- Taking all prescription painkillers and antibiotics as instructed
If the bleeding and swelling get worse after 24 hours, contact our dental team immediately.
How to Manage Pain
Many patients experience mild to moderate pain after dental implant placement. Our team may prescribe pharmaceutical-grade painkillers, but many patients find that over-the-counter painkillers are enough to reduce post-operative pain.
Our team suggests taking 600mg of ibuprofen every six to eight hours for up to two days before dental implant surgery. This pain-management regimen can significantly reduce pain following the procedure. It may also limit the need for post-procedural narcotic painkillers.
How to Avoid Infection
The best way to avoid infection is to take all prescription antibiotics before and after dental implant surgery as instructed by our team. However, patients can also avoid infections by:
- Leaving the dental implant alone
- If necessary, only touching the implant with clean fingers
- Gently rinsing with warm salt water or an approved antiseptic mouthwash
- Limiting sugary foods and drinks
- Avoiding tobacco products and alcohol
- Conducting adequate oral hygiene every day
If you notice increased redness, swelling, discharge, or develop a fever, then call our dental office immediately.
How to Maintain Oral Hygiene
Daily oral hygiene is an important part of dental implant aftercare. However, patients should take some additional precautions while maintaining oral hygiene. For example, patients should:
- Brush with a soft-bristled toothbrush
- Use non-whitening, non-abrasive toothpaste
- Brush as gently as possible around the new implant
- Floss neighboring teeth daily
- Avoid rinsing with an alcohol-based mouthwash
How to Eat and Drink
Patients should avoid sticky or hard foods while they are healing from dental implant surgery. Instead, they should choose softer foods, like:
- Protein shakes
- Soups and stews
- Mashed potatoes
- Apple sauce
Additionally, patients should be mindful of which drinks they consume after dental implant surgery. Patients should avoid:
- Very sugary or acidic beverages
- Extremely hot drinks, like coffee or tea
- Carbonated beverages
Patients should restrict their diets for approximately 10 to 14 days following their procedure. After that, patients may introduce foods and drinks back into their diets as they see fit.
Schedule a Dental Implant Consultation
With a shockingly high success rate of nearly 98%, dental implants are a superior tooth-replacement option. If you’re ready to discuss dental implants with a skilled professional, then schedule a consultation with the team at Dentistry at The Heights now.
Patients can request their appointment online, or they can call our Brooklyn Heights dental office at (718) 625-2116.