How Do I Take Care of My Tooth Implant?

Getting dental implants offers many benefits, but in order to have a successful tooth implant it’s necessary to follow care instructions. A tooth implant will take time to heal, and routine oral care is necessary for the implant to keep its appearance and usefulness. Typically, those who have tried dentures find the care of implants closer to the same routine they followed with their natural teeth.


Giving Implants Time to Heal

As with any type of oral surgery, the individual having the procedure should expect a short period of healing. These times vary depending on the condition of the individual’s jaw, but frequently complete healing requires as little as four months for the bone to heal. Some bone attachments using titanium can have shorter healing times. Depending on the type of procedure the prosthetic is either loaded on the same day, or after a short healing time for the bone implant.


Caring for Implants Immediately after the Procedure

Until the local anesthetic has worn off those returning home after the procedure should be careful when eating hot food or drinking hot beverages. The anesthetic can mask the true effect of the heat on the mouth and it’s possible to burn the gums or mouth without being aware of it. The area around the implant shouldn’t be touched or disturbed. While it’s tempting to probe the area with the tongue this movement can prolong the healing process. Those recovering from immediate oral surgery of this type should avoid strenuous exercise for 48 hours.


Caring for Swelling

Most people do not find the pain from implants to be hard to cope with for a few days. The soreness is usually managed with analgesics and rest. For the two or three days after an implant there is frequently some swelling. This is normal and will subside as the jaw accepts the implant. It’s possible to reduce the swelling with ice packs held against the cheek area for 10 minutes with a 20 minute break helps to relieve the discomfort. After the first 24 hours many people find a gentle heat works best. It’s usually advised to sleep propped up on pillows or a comforter for a few nights until the discomfort subsides. If the pain doesn’t subside after a few days, then calling the clinic for advice is recommended.


Do Implants Change Appearance or Speech?

Implants look and feel like normal teeth. As these have fused to the bone of the jaw these are stable so they don’t move around. In appearance few people seeing someone with implants, smile, or chew will detect these are not natural teeth. Because these are permanently fused to the jaw, speech is normal and natural. Unlike dentures these do not slip and with the out the gaps that can occur either with missing teeth or damaged teeth an individual’s speech sounds normal.


Routine Care for Implants

After the tooth implant it’s natural to want the appearance and usability of the tooth to last. Most implants do not need to be replaced if proper care is taken. While the tooth implant will not get cavities it is necessary to keep the tooth and surrounding tissues healthy through brushing and flossing. A dentist or dental hygienist can help with instructions on keeping the tooth looking natural. The implant will need routine dental checkups and cleaning at the dentist’s office just as with natural teeth. A dentist can also evaluate the tooth and surrounding gum tissue to ensure its continued stability.

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