Dental implants Aftercare
Day to day care of your implants: Good general maintenance of your implant throughout the years is essential to its overall success and longevity. Please take a look at the following tips for taking care of your implant.
The days following the surgery: a good aftercare program is key to our relationship with our patients, we want you to feel confident and well informed about the procedures and their after effects before you start and well cared for and relaxed after your treatment. We will always be available by phone or email to answer questions and give you advice on anything that you aren’t sure about.
It is very important to understand that after your implant surgery you will have to adapt your lifestyle for the first week in order to achieve the best results in healing and to ensure your implant is allowed to settle into the bone without disruption.
You will need to consider some of the points below:
- Avoid food or drink that is hot.
- You will need to avoid heavy exercise for at least a week after the surgery. You will be given a full list of post operative instructions after your surgery and these will be explained to you in detail. You will also be given any medication that you need in order to avoid infection and ease pain or discomfort in the first few days.
Keep your teeth and implants clean: As simple as it sounds a good oral hygiene regime will really help to avoid problems. If your implants are covered by a crown or a bridge then brush them as you would your natural teeth; using floss or interdental brushes will really help you reach the areas your toothbrush can’t. If your implants are uncovered and you are using an over denture you need to remove your denture daily and clean the gums and implants gently as well as giving your denture a good scrub to remove food particles.
Are you a grinder: We know that movement of implants is one of the biggest contributors to them failing and to crowns or bridges needing to be prematurely replaced, If you are a known grinder you can protect both your natural teeth and implants by getting a bite guard to wear at night which can provide a buffering surface for you to grind on. Alternatively some types can actually help to train your jaw not to clench. We are able to arrange this for you here or your normal dentist should be happy to assist. A mouth guard can also be made and worn if you regularly do sports or activities that could risk a trauma to the mouth. A mouth guard can protect your teeth and implants by reducing breaks, fractures, chips or movement caused by an impact.
Cessation of smoking: Smoking has been proven to considerably shorten not only the life of your natural teeth but also that of your implants. When you smoke tar and toxic particles are able to secrete themselves under the gum line and around the head of the implant where your toothbrush can’t possibly reach. These toxins will slowly destroy the supporting tissues meaning both teeth and implants will eventually lose vital support and become loose. Giving up smoking will definitely improve your chances of having a healthy mouth that is functional and problem free.
Regular dental checks: Having implants are not a cheap option for replacing teeth and most people consider them as an investment that will provide them with a better standard of life and increased confidence. As with anything you invest in like a new car or piece of machinery you need to treat them correctly and have them checked regularly to make sure they are working well and don’t need any attention. Having a yearly check-up along with x-rays can detect any problems at an early stage not only with the implants but with your natural teeth.
Regular hygiene visits: As well as carrying out your normal dental routine at home it is also essential to have a professional clean by a qualified hygienist at least every year if not 6 monthly. A hygienist uses special tools to clean closely and gently under the gum without causing damage to the tooth or implant structure, this cleaning will remove any plaque or tartar deposits which can irritate the gum and eventually contribute to gum disease and possible implant failure.