Dental Implant Surgery Recovery Tips
Tooth loss impacts the beauty of the smile and makes it more difficult to bite, chew, and even speak. There are many dental restorations that can replace the crown of the tooth to improve oral functions and aesthetics, but only dental implants replace the roots of the tooth as well.
Dental implants are titanium screws that fuse with the jawbone to provide the ultimate level of support for dental restorations. Dental implants have a high success rate, but patients must follow certain instructions as they recover from implant surgery.
Here, Dr. Robert Zboril offers some dental implant surgery recovery tips that will help our Victoria, TX patients experience a good healing period and enjoy a successful dental implant treatment.
Avoid Hard Foods
Diet is an important part of dental implant recovery. As the gums heal from implant surgery, it is important to avoid putting them under too much force or stress. Biting or chewing on hard or sticky foods could open the implant incisions, cause irritation, or even lead to implant failure.
Patients will be given explicit instructions regarding their diet after implant surgery, but they can expect to be on soft foods for at least a week. Foods that are ideal after implant surgery include smoothies (do not drink with a straw), protein shakes, apple sauce, soup (as long as it’s not too hot), and yogurt.
Keep the Teeth and Gums Clean
Since the mouth is going to be tender after dental implant surgery, patients may be tempted to avoid brushing or flossing. However, keeping the teeth and gums clean is vital to eliminating bacteria that could cause a painful infection at the surgical site.
Patients should avoid flossing where incisions are in place, and should be very gentle when brushing near the surgical site, but the surrounding teeth should be cleaned well.
Patients may be given an anti-bacterial mouth wash. If no rinse is provided, patients can make their own mixture of salt water (about 1 tablespoon of salt for 8 ounces of water). This rinse can be used several times a day to keep the surgical site clean.
Use Medication as Prescribed
Any type of infection could interfere with healing and prevent dental implants from fusing with the jaw bone, a process known as osseointegration. Without osseointegration, dental implant treatment will not be a success.
To help patients avoid infection, Dr. Zboril may prescribe antibiotics. Even if the implant site seems to be healing well, patients need to be sure they take their antibiotics as prescribed and through completion.
Unfortunately, discomfort is common after dental implant surgery. Prescription or over-the-counter pain medication should be effective in keeping discomfort at a minimum. Patients can also use ice packs to reduce inflammation and ease pain. Ice packs can be placed on the outside of the cheeks for about 20 minutes at a time.
If you would like more information about dental implant surgery or the recovery process, Dr. Robert Zboril would be happy to answer any questions you may have. Contact us at your earliest convenience or call (361) 550-7186 to find out if dental implant treatment is right for you.