Caring for dental implants
Dental implants have revolutionized the way oral surgeons can repair and correct the damage created by missing teeth. With dental implants, however, there’s a risk for infection. We’ll explain how to prevent infection with your dental implant as it heals.
Dental implants are titanium posts that are placed in a patient’s jawbone that fuse to the bone. These small titanium plates create a solid artificial root on which a false tooth can be attached. That false tooth–or dental implant–is designed to mirror the size, shape, and even the color of your natural teeth in order to maintain the most natural appearance.
Because of titanium’s unique osseointegration properties, bone grows around the post easily and with little complication. After getting the foundation for your dental implants placed, it’s extremely important to properly care for them to protect against infection. At Sedaros Oral Surgery, we provide detailed post-surgical instructions that guide you in this process.
Following our instructions after dental implant surgery is extremely important as infection of the dental implant site can cause further bone degeneration and extensive complications.
After dental implant surgery, it’s really important to observe the following basic guidelines:
- Do not wear your partial dentures, flippers, or full dentures for at least ten days. Bacteria trapped in these prostheses could infect the site and cause further problems. Even though you’ve been using them prior to the implants, it’s imperative that we now limit bacteria exposure.
- You will be prescribed a prescription Oral Rinse following implant surgery. This antibacterial oral rinse is exceptionally valuable in the hours and days after your surgery. Removing bacteria before it can infect the wound twice a day can keep your implant site clean, safe, and painf-free. It needs to be used for 30 seconds after breakfast and for 30 seconds before bed. Double up the effort with a warm salt water rinse four to five times each day, especially after meals. Keeping bacteria at bay can only improve the outcome of your oral surgery and it helps preserve your mouth’s cleanliness.
- You will also be prescribed antibiotics to help your body prevent and fight off any infection that may crop up. Make sure you take then entire prescription as directed. Don’t forget to finish the prescription even after you believe the implants are healed. Finishing the entire course of antibiotics is important to ward off infection, but it’s also imperative that we wipe out any bacteria before they adapt and begin developing immunities to antibiotics. Finishing your antibiotics will help keep the larger population protected from antibiotic-resistant super strains of infections.
- Eating soft foods is also extremely important as well as staying away from hot liquids. This will ensure that food and drink does not open the wound and expose it to further infection. Mashed potatoes at room temperature, applesauce, and warm (not hot) soups are ideal. You want to be as gentle on your oral tissues as possible. Cravings can wait!
- Return to normal oral hygiene routines as soon as possible, taking special care to be gentle around the implant area. By removing bacteria from the teeth surrounding your new implant you’re preventing an infection from taking hold. Continue brushing and flossing all other areas as best you can. We’d hate to see cavities develop in another area while the implant area is healing. Maintaining your best oral health habits is essential at this stage.
Until your wound has completely healed, you are susceptible to infection. By taking impeccable care of the implant immediately after it is placed you can eliminate as many infections risks as possible.
If you have any questions about how best to care for a dental implant, give Sedaros Oral Surgery a call. We’re happy to answer any questions you have and help you keep your dental implants clean and bacteria-free.
Once they dental implants are healed, you should care for them like they’re your natural teeth. Flossing in between teeth, brushing twice daily, and visiting the dentist for bi-annual cleanings is still recommended.
Dental implants function to look just like normal teeth, and once the healing process is done, you can treat them like normal teeth!