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How To Care For Dental Implants After Surgery

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If properly taken care of, your dental implants can last a lifetime. Start off on the right foot, and start taking care of your new smile right after surgery!

Caring For Dental Implants

What Is The Process?

The dental implant process can take anywhere from three to nine months or more, depending on the amount of tooth and bone loss. The process involves:

  • Removal of the damaged tooth.
  • Preparation of the jawbone for surgery: possible bone grafting, gum or bone alteration.
  • Placement of metal implant post in the jawbone, followed by a healing period.
  • Following the healing period, a crown (artificial tooth) is placed over the implant post.

The procedure is virtually painless, with little to no discomfort immediately afterwards. The procedure is low-risk, with a 98% success rate.

What Should I Do After Surgery?

After surgery, you can expect some swelling, bruising, and soreness. It should subside after a few days. To treat swelling, you can apply icepacks directly to the cheek area for a maximum of ten minutes at a time, with twenty minute intervals in between. After twenty-four hours, it is recommended that you use gentle heat instead.

Painkillers (whatever you normally take for headaches, muscle pain, etc.) should be enough to help with the pain, but sleeping with the head slightly propped up will also help reduce swelling

If soreness and swelling persists or worsens, return to your dentist right away to ensure there is no infection. Minor bleeding following surgery is normal. Apply pressure to the area with gauze, while sitting upright. Contact your dentist immediately if bleeding persists.

For the first couple days following your surgery, it is highly recommended to avoid hot foods and drinks, and try to keep excess liquid away from the area. Try to avoid any strenuous exercise as well.

How Can I Care For My Implants?

Cleanliness is the key to great oral care and hygiene. Following surgery, you will be given a mouthwash. Follow your dentist’s instructions, and keep the area clean. Brush your teeth as usual, but you may want to avoid the surgical site until it is healed and there is no more tenderness. Brush gently at first!

Hot salt mouthwashes are great for cleaning and healing, even though the taste is certainly something you’d rather live without. Try to keep food away from the surgical area, and if food does come into contact with it, rinse thoroughly. Smoking severely limits healing in the mouth. While you shouldn’t be smoking at all, if you must, wait until the wound is fully healed.

If you follow your dentist’s instructions and take proper care of your implants, the healing process should be quick and smooth. Contact your dentist with any questions or concerns. If there is any severe or unusual pain or bleeding, visit your dentist right away.


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