Follow Postoperative Instructions
How well you take care of your dental implants during recovery can make a big difference for your long-term dental implant health. Make sure you closely follow all postoperative instructions that your Detroit dental implant dentist gives you.
If you don’t understand any of your instructions, feel free to contact us, and we’ll clarify.
Be Vigilant for Problems
Dental implant problems are uncommon, but if they do occur, many of them are correctable if detected early. So you should keep an eye on your dental implants for signs of trouble, including:
- Swelling around the implant
- Bleeding around the implant
- Discomfort around the implant
- Loose implant
- Changes in bite
Swelling, bleeding, and discomfort around the implant could be symptoms of peri-implantitis, the form of gum disease that affects dental implants. These can lead to implant loss, but when detected early, they might only require changes in your hygiene to reverse.
A loose implant could be a sign that peri-implantitis is attacking the bone around the implant. However, it might also be something as simple as a loose abutment screw. Don’t panic if you notice a loose implant suddenly one day, but haven’t seen any other symptoms.
Similarly, changes in your bite might be a sign of problems with the dental implant, but might also be a sign of minor issues with your abutment and/or crown.
If you notice these or other changes in your dental implants, please contact your Detroit implant dentist to see if you need an appointment.
Practice Good Oral Hygiene
Dental implants don’t get cavities, but they are vulnerable to gum disease, as we said above. To prevent gum disease, it’s important to clean your teeth thoroughly.
Brush your teeth twice a day. Ask your implant dentist if there are any toothpaste restrictions related to your implant restorations.
Floss your teeth daily. Cleaning around your implant might take some practice to master. Sometimes people find that they can’t clean their implant properly with dental floss. They need a different tool to get their implant clean. Interdental brushes and water flossers are popular choices.
Some types of implant dentures might benefit from additional cleaning: rinsing after eating, nightly soaking, etc. Your implant dentist will let you know if this is right for your restoration.
Smoking is one lifestyle choice that can make a dramatic impact on your dental implants. Smokers are more likely to lose their dental implants than non-smokers. At a minimum, it’s best to quit smoking for several weeks before your implant procedure and not start again until your implants are fully healed (3-6 months after surgery). However, it’s best if you can quit smoking altogether.
Wear a Mouthguard to Protect Implants
Dental implants are stronger than natural teeth, but they’re not invulnerable to damage. If a dental implant gets struck, it can break the dental crown, the abutment, or even the implant itself. It can also break the bone around the implant, knocking it out.
To reduce risks to your implant, wear a mouthguard when playing in sports. This includes non-contact and recreational sports. Cycling, for example, is responsible for many dental injuries.
Eat to Support Implant Health
Your dental implants depend on your bones for support. Eating a healthy diet can help your bones stay strong for your implants. Make sure your diet includes nutrition that supports healthy bones. This means making sure your diet includes enough:
- Vitamins B6, B9, and B12
- Vitamin D
- Vitamin K
Talk to your doctor about the best sources of these nutrients for your diet. Ask them if you will benefit from taking supplements.
Also try to maintain a healthy weight. Obesity can increase your risk of implant loss.
Pay Attention to Medications
Medications can impact your dental implants. It’s important to be aware of specific medications that can impact your dental implants, including:
- Osteoporosis medications
- NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs)
Osteoporosis medications affect the way your bones heal. Some evidence suggests that they might cause complications with dental implants. However, this mostly seems associated with very specific prescriptions, so ask your doctor whether there’s a concern related to your medication.
Some antidepressants can also increase your dental implant risk. Talk to your dentist about what medications are a concern. If it’s one you’re taking, see if your doctor might facilitate a transition to a different type.
NSAIDs can impact your dental implants, including the popular over-the-counter pain medications ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin) and naproxen (Aleve). Try to limit use of these during the recovery period with dental implants.
Also pay attention to specific side effects of all your medications. For example, dry mouth is a very common side effect that affects oral health, including dental implants.
Make Regular Dental Appointments
It’s also important to make regular dental appointments to check on the health of your dental implants. For most people, you will simply keep up the same twice a year appointment schedule after getting dental implants that you had before.
For people with high risk factors (smokers, history of gum disease, etc.), your implant dentist might recommend more frequent dental visits, perhaps three or four a year.
Get Dental Implants in Detroit
As you can see, for most people caring for dental implants is easy. Most of these instructions apply just as well to natural teeth, too, so you might not have to make many changes to your daily routine.
If you want to learn more about getting long-lasting, functional, and attractive dental implants, please contact Rochester Advanced Dentistry today for an appointment with one of our Detroit implant dentists.