Taking Care Of Your New Dental Implants
Dental implants are an increasingly common procedure meant to replace broken or missing teeth and restore your smile. Many patients, however, don't realize that their new implants need regular care for years after installation. Like regular teeth, implants can become infected and deteriorate over time when not maintained properly. In order to prevent implant failure and potentially permanent jaw damage, follow these five steps for dental implant aftercare.
Rest After the Procedure
Installing dental implants is a relatively invasive process, and the surgery involved can leave you sore and swollen for several days. Stay off your feet and relaxed while the anesthesia wears off, and restrict yourself to soft foods for about a week afterward. Activities that put pressure on your gums, ranging from drinking through a straw to strenuous exercise, should also be avoided during the recovery stage to promote fast, complication-free healing.
Practice Strong Dental Hygiene
Even though your implants can't get cavities, they can still develop infections without good oral hygiene habits. Implants are especially vulnerable to gum disease, as the anchor of the implant can give harmful bacteria a direct route to your jaw. An established infection can then eat away at your jawbone, resulting in permanent bone loss if left untreated. Brush and floss twice a day to discourage gum disease and keep your dental implants clean.
Smoking is a frequent culprit behind lost and infected teeth, and it has been shown to nearly quadruple your risk of gum disease. Because gum disease poses a direct threat to the success of dental implants, patients should make an effort to stop smoking both before and after their procedure. Smoking can also slow down your mouth's healing rate, increasing the likelihood of complications.
Schedule Regular Cleanings
Having your teeth cleaned once or twice a year by a dentist is all part of standard dental care, but it becomes even more important once you have dental implants. Having your teeth examined gives your dentist an opportunity to check for any signs of infection, cracks or other issues with the implants before they can lead to real trouble.
Report Any Irregularities
It may take you some time to adjust to your dental implants, but don't hesitate to call your dentist if you experience unexpected pain, swelling or looseness. These are signs that something may have gone wrong, and catching them early can save you from painful and persistent problems later on. By remaining diligent with your oral hygiene and keeping an open dialogue with your dentist, your implants should last for decades with no discomfort or inconvenient failures. To learn more, contact a company like South Florida Dental Arts.