The look and feel of a crown on dental implants is very similar to natural teeth. It is often recommended for tooth loss due to decay, extraction, injury or mechanical damage. The big advantage over alternatives like fixed bridges and conventional dentures is that dental implants do not need cutting of your teeth and is secure after placement. They are the closest thing to your natural teeth.
Following minor surgery to insert the dental implants, adequate healing is required before the final crown is inserted. It is important for you to take proper care of the affected area to promote the success of the implant integration.
Here are some simple guidelines on improving oral health and comfort after the surgical treatment:
Proper oral hygiene will promote rapid healing and will significantly reduce the risk of infection. It is important for you to keep the teeth next to the implant site clean. You can often brush the teeth next to the area gently, making sure to avoid any stitches or gum area which has been stitched closed. Using an antiseptic mouthwash in addition to your normal home cleaning routine is also helpful to keep the areas you cannot brush as clean as possible. Alternatively, you can use warm salt water instead. Rinsing should be done gently to avoid disturbing the wound or washing any blood clot away.
Antibiotics may be prescribed during the healing process, especially if supplementary procedures like bone grafting are carried out.
The pain experienced after dental implants surgery is often minimal and related to swelling. It can often be managed using over-the-counter medication such as paracetamol and ibuprofen. Don’t wait for pain to start. You should take the pain relief before you feel the anaesthetic starting to wear off. You should minimise physical activity after the surgery because strenuous movement may encourage bleeding or painful throbbing in the implant site. If your medication is not helping you to manage the pain, please consult your dentist.
You should be careful to avoid eating until the local anaesthetic has worn off. It is important not to eat in the area of the surgery to avoid disturbing the wound or applying pressure to the implant or any bone graft. Avoid hot foods and fluids since they can cause more irritation, encourage swelling and slow healing. A soft diet can also minimise movement or stretching of the gum in the area. You can usually resume a normal diet once the gum is sufficiently healed, as long as you continue to eat away from the area, unless your dentist recommends otherwise.
For more information, contact us with any questions you may have.
Dr Eugene Foo graduated from the University of Sydney with a Bachelor of Dental Surgery with Honours and later completed a Graduate Diploma in Clinical Dentistry (Oral Implants) from the same university. Eugene has a particular interest in dental implants and is the current NSW President of the Australasian Osseointegration Society, Australia’s leading implant society.
In our previous blog we talked about the importance of orthodontic retainers for the longterm success of any orthodontic treatment. To view this blog, click here.