Written By Meghan Belnap / Reviewed By Ray Spotts
Dentistry has seen great advancements in the options for replacing missing or extracted teeth. Dental implants are the latest leap forward and they offer some significant benefits over dentures or simply leaving the space empty. But they also require some very specific aftercare. To avoid infection and get the most out of your new implants, you must know how to care for them immediately after the procedure to put them in.
Your gums are likely to bleed quite a bit after the procedure. This is especially true if you have gum disease or are on blood thinners. The best way to manage this bleeding is by placing a gauze pad on the bleeding area and biting down.
You'll need to strike a careful balance between biting down hard enough to apply pressure but not so hard as to press the implant into the gums. Bite down on the gauze for 30 to 60 minutes, then swap it out for a new gauze pad if the bleeding continues.
If it continues longer than about 90 minutes, you should call for further instructions. This should only be an issue directly after the procedure.
Afterward, you may experience very minor amounts of bleeding here and there when blood clots are dislodged or the site is irritated, but nothing you would need to apply gauze for. If such excessive bleeding does happen after the first day, have the site looked at again by your dentist as soon as possible.
Manage Swelling and Pain
Swelling is fairly common after a dental implants procedure, as is a significant level of discomfort and pain. Your doctor will likely give you prescription medication to manage both of these, though you can also use additional methods to help care for your implant site.
You can start by applying ice to the area off and on during the first 24 hours following the procedure. After one to two days have passed and the swelling is going down, you can manage the soreness left over by applying heat. Make sure not to apply heat before this, however, as that will increase the swelling.
Eat and Drink Correctly
The first thing to remember about eating and drinking is not to eat until the local anesthetic has worn off. This ensures you don't bite yourself or bite down too hard and cause a problem without realizing it. Once you can start eating and drinking, remaining hydrated is important.
Skip hot drinks like coffee or tea, particularly while there is still a lot of swelling. Instead, use cold drinks and ice cream to help numb the area and decrease the swelling. You can drink warm drinks later on when the swelling is gone and the area is just sore. However, you should avoid alcohol and spicy foods.
It is also important to avoid using a straw or sucking on hard candies for a while as this suction may pull out any blood clots that form in the area and re-initiate bleeding. Eat softer foods and chew away from the implant site if possible.
Avoid seeds, seeded fruits, nuts, and popcorn, as they can all get stuck around the implant site and cause an infection. Stick to nutritious foods as much as possible as they will aid in healing quickly, and reduce your sugar intake to avoid encouraging bacterial growth in your mouth while the area is sensitive.
After getting your implants, you may be tempted to go overboard with your oral hygiene to try to keep your mouth clean and healthy. But if you're overzealous, you can do more harm than good. Instead, gently brush and floss around the implant area on the day of the procedure, but don't rinse afterward.
The next day, begin gently rinsing several times a day with a warm salt water rinse, especially after you've eaten. A few days after that, you may use a Q-tip and appropriate cleaning solution to clean around the implant, if necessary. Overall, it’s important to be gentle with the site while keeping it clean.
Your new dental implants can give your mouth a new lease on life. But in order to do that, they must be properly cared for in the immediate aftermath of surgery. The extra effort you'll put forth now will pay off in the long run. You'll be back to enjoying your favorite foods and drinks with a beautiful smile in no time.
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Meghan Belnap is a freelance writer who enjoys spending time with her family. She loves being in the outdoors and exploring new opportunities whenever they arise. Meghan finds happiness in researching new topics that help to expand her horizons. You can often find her buried in a good book or out looking for an adventure. You can connect with her on Facebook right here and Twitter right here.
Founder Ray Spotts has a passion for all things natural and has made a life study of nature as it relates to health and well-being. Ray became a forerunner bringing products to market that are extraordinarily effective and free from potentially harmful chemicals and additives. For this reason Ray formed Trusted Health Products, a company you can trust for clean, effective, and healthy products. Ray is an organic gardener, likes fishing, hiking, and teaching and mentoring people to start new businesses. You can get his book for free, “How To Succeed In Business Based On God’s Word,” at www.rayspotts.com.