Once you have decided to opt for dental implants, it becomes one of the major health issues to be considered for care and maintenance. Dental Implants are a dental procedure where the patient invests time and money to get a better smile in addition to better oral health, which is directly connected to general health of a person.
Dental implant surgery takes many sittings and more than one surgery is performed to install the implant and then after it is embedded in the jaws, which process is called the process of osseointegration. When fusing the metal post with the surrounding bone tissues is complete, other minor surgeries are performed to install an abutment and then a crown on top of the abutment.
All these procedures take time and effort and it is advisable to look after your dental implants well so that it may last lifetime. Dental implant surgery does involve little pain and discomfort. Due to the metal screws, there may be a few scratches or bruises on the gum resulting in inflammation of the gums. These are temporary and will go away in a few days. If you have had resorption of bone, you may have had bone grafting surgery too. In such a case, the discomfort may last longer than a few days. During this initial period, you need to take care in your food intake and cleanliness of your oral cavity.
In most cases dental implant surgeries are successful and it is only with proper dental care and hygiene that you can ensure that it stays successful.
Follow instructions provided by the implant surgeons
Dental implant surgeons give instructions before during and after the surgery which should be followed to the T by patients for speedy recovery.
The lifestyle choices that play an important role in getting recovery faster include food, drinks, alcohol, caffein, strenuous activities, and medicines.
During surgeries, and immediately after surgery, avoid certain foods and drinks so that swelling is kept at the minimum.
Use prescribed medications after the surgery to quicken the healing process. It is important to take prescribed medicines for maximum benefit.
Take care not to harm the wound by doing any hard physical activities involving your mouth and face – like biting a bottle cap etc.
Take adequate rest
Dental implant surgery is a major event for your body and recovery will be faster if you give rest to your body. Relaxation will ease your body from stress. Your body will give you signs for it to be rested when you feel tired after the surgery. You will feel better after a few days of rest to your body which will reflect on your mental well-being also. Relaxation will lessen the anxiety associated with surgeries. Of course, after a few days you should feel better and can resume your normal routine.
Use ice packs
After the implant surgery there is bound to be some swelling and bruising which can make you uncomfortable. Ice packs can keep swelling under control. Ice packs can be made at home with a few ice cubes wrapped in a tea towel. Put this ice pack on the jaws which will help a lot in making you feel better. Always wrap ice in a towel otherwise there is a risk of getting ice burns.
Painkillers and antibiotics prescriptions
The dental surgeon will prescribe pain killers and antibiotics based on your medical history. It is strongly recommended to follow these instructions since they are based on what is beneficial and effective for your recovery. Take medicines as prescribed without attempting to get anything over the counter. If in doubt ask your dental professional before changing and taking some medicine over and above the prescribed medicines.
Soft foods are a step toward faster recovery. Stick to soft food meals during and after the surgery is done, because your jaw movement during chewing can irritate the new wounds and may cause inflammation, delaying the recovery. Soft foods need to be nutritious as well. When you plan to soft foods keep in mind your nutritional requirements. Healthy foods such as fresh fruits and vegetables can be boiled and mashed for healthy meals. Nutrients are most needed after the surgery for healing process to take place.
Hot and cold foods should be avoided because the gums are sensitive after implantation surgeries. All your foods and drinks can be on room temperature, neither very cold, nor very hot.
Avoid using straws
Avoid using straws after the surgery because the act of sucking can harm the wound causing it to open and disrupted, leading to slowed recovery.
Alcohol and caffeine
These should be avoided totally. Keep yourself hydrated with water only. Keeping well hydrated helps the body to flush out toxins and replace lost cells. Try to avoid hot tea and coffee. Drink a lot of water instead. Very cold fizzy drinks will also harm and slow down the healing process because of increased sensitivity of the gums.
Smoking is to be avoided strictly, because it can slow the healing process as it deprives the body of oxygen which is an important element for healing of wounds. The dental implant procedure will take months to be completed, since the implant has to be embedded properly in the jaw bone. For the bonding to take place, the bone tissues need to be grown around the metal post. Smoking will hamper this process of growth and will delay the process.
During the process of getting surrounded by bone tissues, it is important for the metal post to stay in place for a long time. When you are involved in hard exercising, there is a chance of getting the post knocked out or move from its place and get dislodged. After the surgery, even talking will affect the healing process.
Good oral hygiene routine
It is imperative to follow good dental hygiene routine after the surgery, because the ever-present bacteria in the mouth can cause infection in gums and ruin the healing process. Keep your mouth clean. Rinse with salt water and gargle with anti-bacterial mouth wash.