Dental implants are simple, permanent and practical.
That said, its important to adopt proper aftercare to make your transition to implants as seamless as possible.
Dr Ali Rifai, leading principal dentist and dental implant specialist advises careful care after having an implant fitted to ensure their longevity.
As dental implants function just like natural teeth, they need to be cared for in the same manner.
Whilst The Gentle Dental’s implant success rate is 98.2%, there is the chance for implant failure if the oral condition is not maintained.
What to expect after the procedure
The most common concern after dental implants is bleeding. This is totally normal.
If the bleeding is minor, then simply ignore it, as this is to be expected for up to 24 hours after the procedure.
However, if the bleeding is excessive to the point where it is filling the mouth, then we advise biting on a gauze pad until the bleeding slows.
If heavy bleeding continues in this way after 30 minutes, contact your dentist as soon as possible.
Swelling is a very common symptom of surgery and not something to be alarmed by.
However, it can be brought down with a regularly applied icepack. In most cases, the swelling will be reduced within three days.
This process can be aided further by propping up the head while sleeping with two or three pillows.
How to make your dental implants heal faster
When it comes to the healing process, there are several diet and lifestyle choices that will drastically aid the recovery.
The biggest of these is to avoid smoking as it constricts the blood vessels and reduces blood flow to the soft tissues.
Over time, this radically reduces the chance of the implant healing correctly and may cause it to fail entirely.
Other factors to avoid include a poor diet, excessive alcohol and neglectful brushing.
It is very important, particularly in the early healing stages, to stave off plague build-up around the implant.
This can be damaging to the healing process and can impair the grafting of the implant to the jawbone.
Caring for your implants
Extra steps towards good oral hygiene also go a long way towards the healing process. We typically recommend a chlorhexidine mouthwash and warm salt-water rinses four to five times a day.
In both cases, be sure not to rinse too aggressively, as this may upset the implant.
Following the initial healing phase, the implant will continue to bond with the jawbone.
Immediately after the first surgery, we will prescribe a specific diet plan to encourage this process, usually lasting between seven and ten days.
As time passes, check-ups will become essential. The first check-up will be two weeks after the procedure.
It is here that we will assess the progress of the implant, remove the stitches and check oral hygiene, based on which we may recommend additional cleaning instructions.
A further annual check-up will also be required.
It is at this stage that we will check not only the implant but the health of the jaw and the presence of diseases or infections that could harm the implant.