Whether you’ve recently lost an adult tooth or have been told by your dentist that you’re in danger of losing one, the fact remains that you may want to consider dental implants as a viable option. With dental implants, you can restore the original look and feel of a lost tooth with an artificial one. Dental implants are permanent solutions, but they will require a bit of maintenance to take care of after the procedure. This way, you can enjoy a healthy smile and avoid possible infection.
DO Take Time to Meal Prep
One of the biggest challenges patients run into after having a dental implant procedure done is that of not being able to eat the foods they’re used to. That’s because, for the days following the procedure, most patients are unable to chew on the affected side of their mouths as the area heals. As a result, they need to stick to a diet of soft foods, for the most part.
This is where taking the time to prepare meals for the week following your dental implant procedure ahead of time can make all the difference. Keep plenty of pureed fruits and vegetables, yogurts, cottage cheese, and homemade soup on hand so you can continue to eat healthy during your recovery. This will, in turn, help your body heal faster.
DON’T Neglect Dental Hygiene
It should go without saying that your dental hygiene is more important than ever after you have a dental implant procedure done; however, many patients unknowingly slip into bad dental hygiene habits, which can increase their chances of developing an infection.
In the days following your dental implant, follow your cosmetic dentist’s orders. In most cases, this will involve using a prescribed antibacterial mouthwash to reduce the risk of infection, in addition to lightly brushing around the area to get rid of plaque buildup. After a week or so, most patients can also return to flossing around the dental implant. It’s important to keep up with these habits.
DO Try to Quit Smoking/Chewing Tobacco
If you’re a smoker or like to chew tobacco, there has never been a better time to quit. Unfortunately, smoking and tobacco can increase your risk of infection around the new dental implant; with a serious enough infection, the implant may need to be removed. In addition to smoking and tobacco being bad for your overall health, it can also increase your risk of developing gum disease and mouth cancer. With progressed gum disease (known as periodontal disease), you may actually lose bone mass in your jaw, which could result in the loss of your dental implant.
DON’T Rush the Recovery Process
Last but certainly not least, understand that the recovery process for a dental implant procedure can vary greatly from one patient to the next. Your dentist should be able to assess your unique situation and give you a general time frame for recovery, but your recovery time will ultimately be determined by how your body reacts to the new implant and how well you care for it after the procedure.
Always follow your dentist’s orders, and if something seems wrong, schedule an appointment with your dentist right away. This is the best way to avoid an infection and to ensure a healthy, safe recovery. Always attend your follow-up appointments as needed.
There’s a lot to keep in mind when it comes to caring for your new dental implants. For more information or to schedule a consultation for a dental implant, be sure to contact us; we would love to meet you and provide you with some valuable information and insight.