What to expect after dental implant surgery

Woman smiling after her dental implant surgeryDental implants offer a viable, long-lasting and effective solution for patients who wish to replace one or more missing teeth. Unlike other tooth replacement options, dental implants fuse with the jawbone and help prevent bone deterioration.

Dental implants are designed to last a lifetime; however, proper dental care is necessary to help ensure their longevity and function. An experienced implant dentist, such as the ones at Moor Park Dental in London, can show patients how to take good care of their implants after the surgery by following some basic guidelines.

After the surgery

Dental implants are small titanium posts that are surgically embedded into the jawbone to replace missing tooth roots. Dental implants require a healing period to completely fuse with the jawbone and, after this period has passed, a dentist will attach permanent replacement teeth on top of them. These teeth can be individual crowns, dentures or bridges. Once in place, implant restorations look and function exactly like natural teeth.

In the first hours following the implant surgery, cool the external treatment area with ice in order to prevent swelling. In order to avoid pain, start taking any prescribed pain medication soon after the operation. Do not use oral solutions in the first few hours after the surgery, as this may cause bleeding. However, patients are encouraged to use the special oral solution provided by their dentists while cleaning their teeth after an implant operation.

If the dentist places a temporary crown or other tooth replacement, healing caps will also be placed on top of the implant sites to let them heal. For a few days, avoid eating hard or chewy foods. They can be reintroduced when the dental implants start feeling less sensitive. Patients are advised not to drive in the first hours after the operation, as their ability can be impaired by the anaesthetic.

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Caring for dental implants in the long-term

Dental implants can last a lifetime with proper care at home and regular dental visits. Just like natural teeth, dental implants require frequent brushing and flossing in order not to develop plaque or gum disease. A dentist will also share advice on specific dental implant cleaning and flossing techniques.