Dental implants are one of most popular tooth restorations among patients with tooth loss nowadays. These play as the tooth roots to hold dental crowns, bridges, or dentures on top. Dental implants also help prevent jawbone loss and improve your facial structure. Apart from the great benefits, an implant placement is a surgical procedure, meaning it is invasive and requires thorough care. This read from Sydney Dental will provide you with helpful dental implant home care instructions to make your recovery from the procedure problem-free and much more comfortable.

dental implant home care instructions

1. General home care recommendations

dental implant

On the day of dental implants, you should try not to do certain things to keep your implants safe and prevent extra discomfort and potential problems. These include:

  • Do not eat or drink anything immediately after surgery. If you are thirsty, you can take sips of cold water while waiting for the anesthesia to wear off;
  • Avoid high temperature foods and beverages as these may lead to more bleeding to the surgical site;
  • Do not touch or place any force to the wound area to prevent additional pain and discomfort;
  • Do not rinse your mouth or spit;
  • Avoid drinking with straws;
  • Take antibiotics as prescribed by the dentist;
  • Avoid strenuous physical activities for the first 48 hours after the implant procedure. This is to avoid impacting and reopening the surgical incisions. 

2. Specific at-home care for implants

2.1 Pain and discomfort

As the anesthesia starts to wear off following surgery, you may experience some soreness which is not an uncommon post-op problem. The pain and discomfort can be helped with OTC pain-killers. Moderate pain can be managed with Tylenol or ibuprofen (Advil or Motrin) at intervals of 3 to 4 hours. Do not take any medication if you are advised against by the dentist or have allergic reactions.

2.2 Swelling

Ice therapy is the ideal fix for any swelling after an implant placement. Apply ice on your cheek near the surgical area as much as possible for the first 36 hours following surgery. Just keep in mind that some swelling as well as bruising is normal and should go away soon.

2.3 Nausea and vomiting

Feeling sick in your stomach and throwing up are also not rare side effects from a dental implant surgery. A few sips of soft drinks like Pepsi or Coke can be helpful. If nausea persists, seek medical attention from your dental care provider.

dental implant home care instructions
dental implant home care instructions

2.4 Easy and healthy diet

Your gums heal and swelling starts to go away in the first 2 days after your dental implant surgery. During this time, one should refrain from high temperature foods and drinks. Also, using straws is not recommended as it may disrupt your healing. If you have had a bone graft or sinus lift in preparation for a dental implant surgery, it is no straw for at least a month. Chunky foods are also a bad move during this time. All-liquid should be your safest diet, such as:

  • Meal replacement beverages;
  • Protein drinks;
  • Broths and soups;
  • Smoothies from fruit or veggies;
  • Yogurt.

Incorporate a wholesome diet and proper hygiene into your routine for your healing journey for it to run smoothly. That way you can get back to your normal eating regimen in the shortest time possible. Try to refrain yourself from eating what you want as soon as you begin to feel it’s okay without being consulted by the dentist to do so. The pain and comfort may lessen, however, there’s still a risk that the surgical wound is not healed enough to handle the aforementioned heavy foods.

2.5 Light exercise

Exercise remains beneficial for dental implant receivers. However, to avoid excess force to the surgical site, you need to save strenuous physical activities like weight lifting and contact sports for later until your recovery is complete. This is because impact to the implant area can result in pain, bleeding, swelling, and potentially dangerous complications like a dental failure. Therefore, it is important that you go with light, low-impact exercise within the limits that your body is okay with.

Take it easy on the surgery day – the patient should just go straight home and rest up. They also should lie on their back instead of sitting or leaning back. The surgeon will also likely recommend that you refrain from any activity that same day.

The majority of patients won’t feel any pain on the surgery day thanks to the pain medication used during the procedure. You can brush your teeth but make sure to be gentle to avoid affecting the fresh wound. Also, be careful with standing up – do it slowly – to prevent getting light headed or dizzy.

2.6 For smokers

For the first week after the implant placement, completely refrain from smoking. This is because during this time, the body will create blood clots at the surgical site for our healing by preventing bacteria from entering your wound. 

If you have cigarettes during this period, the smoke inhaled may disrupt the blood clotting process. As the clots get loose, food particles and bacteria may creep into the surgical site and cause infection. This might also result in a condition called dry socket, which leads to severe pain and hinder your recovery.

It is best that smokers refrain from smoking for 1-2 weeks before the implant surgery to strengthen your bone density. As for after implants, you have to stay away from cigarettes for 2-3 months to ensure a smooth osseointegration (the process of implants getting fused into your body) and lower the risks of dangerous complications. 

3. When to contact your dental care provider?

The dentist will give you antibiotics to keep infection away. You may also need prescription or OTC painkillers to help with any discomfort and pain. Mild problems like bruising and swelling should go away on their own in a couple of days following surgery. Nonetheless, if these problems persist or worsen after a week, you need to contact your dentist.

Initial recovery takes several weeks and osseointegration may take many months to complete. Dental implant receivers should contact their dental provider if they notice the implants are loosening or moving or still painful after several weeks. The earlier the problems are solved, the lower the risk of serious complications is.

dental implant home care instructions
dental implant home care instructions

4. How to minimize the risk of side effects and complications from implant surgery?

Considering dental implants are like the real deal, proper care on a daily basis and periodic oral visits need to be done for the implants to last longer and to prevent problems. In particular, the patient should:

Commit to thorough oral hygiene

Try to keep your dental implants, false teeth, and gum tissue clean just like your original teeth by bruising, flossing, and rinsing on a daily basis.

Pay periodic visits to the dentist

Have checkups with the dental provider to make sure your implants are functioning properly and healthy. Also receive in-clinic cleanings as advised by the dentist.

At your appointment, the dental care provider will give you a thorough oral examination. They will check the state of your teeth as well as gums for any changes or problems, such as gum tenderness, sensitivity, tooth looseness, or dental misalignment. If there are any concerns or conditions detected, the dental provider will address or treat it in a timely manner. They will also take a close look at the components of your dental implants to make sure that they are in good conditions and not malfunctioning.

Avoid poor dental habits

Avoid chewing on hard foods, like ice or hard candy because these can cause breakage to your restoration like crows or even your original teeth. Also refrain from tobacco and products containing caffeine to prevent staining of teeth. If you have bruxism, meaning you grind or clench teeth, seek medical attention. The dental care provider will likely prescribe you a mouth guard to wear during sleep to protect your implants.

5. A word from Sydney Dental – your trusted dental provider

Dental implants are a very effective restoration for your natural lost teeth. After these are attached, there are adjustments to be incorporated into your life with a new smile. Always make sure to follow the dentist’s instructions not only in terms of what to eat and drink, but how to keep your dental implants clean as well. Do not forget to resist some yummy items or your certain activities that may be heavy on your newly placed implants for a while for a safe recovery.

Hopefully after this read with Sydney Dental you’ve had a good idea of how to care for your implants at home following surgery. If you are still unsure of anything in search of a new unforgettably stunning smile, do not hesitate to reach out to us. We are at 499-501 Ba Hat St, Ward 8, District 10, HCMC looking forward to your visit. You may also call us at (028) 3504 9440 for a free no-obligation comprehensive consultation. Your pretty, shiny smile is 100% guaranteed at Sydney Dental!

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