Whilst you will need to look after your dental implants for life, there are particular circumstances that need to be taken into consideration immediately after you have had an implant placed at your local Cheshunt dental practice. The Lodge Dental Suite team will discuss this with you at the time of the procedure, along with any specific individual advice too. Today’s blog, takes a look at the general aftercare that you need to take once you have left the practice with your new implant.
Given the minor surgery required to place an implant, some patients may experience a little discomfort once the local anaesthetic has worn off. This should not last, and if it does, you should contact us for further advice. Generally, any discomfort should be easily manageable using your regular painkillers.
Smoking and drinking
It is very important that you do not smoke. Small quantities of alcohol are acceptable, but heavy drinking can be as harmful as smoking for your new implant. Both of these habits cause blood vessels in the area to narrow, reducing the supply of blood to the area that helps to heal the wound. Infections are also more likely if you smoke or drink and both of these habits could result in the failure of the implant. You will need to avoid these for around three months, and preferably permanently, particularly smoking.
Keeping the implant clean
Naturally, in the early stages, you will not be able to brush around the implant. It is important though, that you keep it clean. Both periodontitis and peri implantitis can be risks to your implant and keeping the area clean from the outset is very important. Until such a time that you are able to brush the area using a soft brush, you can tip a warm saline solution over the area. This will help to keep it clean. You should, of course, continue to brush and floss the rest of your natural teeth.
Take care when eating
A newly placed implant needs time to heal and to integrate with the bone into which it has been placed. This process, known as osseointegration, is what gives the implant its long term strength and security, and which makes it as close to being a natural tooth as is currently possible.
To allow this process to take place, we not only need to keep the implant clean and healthy, but not to put undue stress on it, especially in the immediate post placement period. We do, of course, still need to eat, but must take care not to put stress upon the implant initially.
The team at The Lodge Dental Suite recommend that our Cheshunt patients initially follow a liquid diet. Thin soups and other liquid food are recommended for a short time. As the implant area starts to heal, you may slowly add the likes of well cooked pasta and mashed potatoes to your diet. If you follow this and keep the new implant clean, you should soon be able to eat any food that you wish with your new implant.
This post procedural period, which lasts approximately three months, may seem to be inconvenient, but given that a healthy high quality implant can last for twenty years or more, this seems to be a small price to pay.
If you would like to find out if you are a suitable candidate for a dental implant procedure and live in the Cheshunt area, please call The Lodge Dental Suite, to arrange an initial consultation, on 01992 643388.