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Essential Post-Operative Care for Dental Implant Surgery

Despite the several improvements in dental care, countless individuals across the globe still suffer from tooth loss due to reasons like tooth decay, gum disease and injury. While dentures and bridges were the only options before, now we have dental implants, which are commonly recommended by several Phoenix dentists of today.

Dental implants are replacement tooth roots that provide a firm foundation for removable or permanent replacement teeth. Although the placement of a dental implant is not a major surgery, post-operative care is necessary to prevent complications like infection, and to boost the healing process. Provided here are some common post-operative care after dental implants:

Pain

As soon as you feel the anesthetic wearing off (usually three to eight hours after surgery), take in the prescribed medication. Never take in pain medications not prescribed by your dentist. Most pain relievers may make you groggy and relax your reflexes, so do not attempt to work around machinery or drive a vehicle. In fact, enough rest is a must. The pain should subside for every additional day post-surgery. If pain and discomfort persist, inform your dentist immediately.

Bleeding

This is expected for the first 24 hours. To control blood flow, you can bite on gauze packs placed directly over the surgical site. This should be replaced every 30 minutes or as necessary until the bleeding decreases. Keep your head elevated when lying down and avoid sucking or playing with your wound. Avoid hot/warm food and beverages as well.

Swelling

After surgery, swelling is to be expected. Take in anti-inflammatory medication if prescribed. To help diminish swelling, you can place ice packs on the cheek over the surgical site. This is best done within the first 36 hours at a 10-minute interval. Do it as often as possible.

Diet

You may start eating as soon as numbness or bleeding subsides. Try to consume soft food and in bite sizes.As mentioned earlier, avoid hot/warm food and drinks as this will dilate blood vessel and increase blood flow. Drink lots of fluids and take in nutritious meals. However, seeded fruits should be avoided as the seeds may lodge on the wound and even cause infection. Do not use straw because the sucking action may dislodge the blood clot, causing blood flow and delaying the healing process.

Oral Hygiene

Proper oral hygiene is important for good healing. During the first 12 hours, do not rinse your mouth as this may interfere with wound healing. After 12 hours, you may gently rinse with warm salt water (1/2 teaspoon salt in 1 cup warm water). This should be done at least 4-5 times a day, especially after meals. Do not directly brush the wound for the first two weeks to give ample time for the tissue to regenerate and heal. After which, you can gently brush the surgical site.

Activity

While under the influence of the anesthetic drug or narcotic pain relievers following surgery, avoid driving or operating machinery and similar activities. Rest is also essential, so minimize activities as much as possible. Discontinue any activity when pain, swelling or bleeding increases.

These are just a few of the essential post-operative care following placement of dental implants. Phoenix dentists will surely provide you specific instructions and prescriptions which you should carefully follow to ensure proper and faster healing.




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