Dentistry For Non-Professionals

Improving Your Recovery After Dental Implants

by Claude Sullivan

When it comes to replacing missing teeth, few procedures are as effective as dental implants. Your dentist puts in the dental implants by making small incisions so they can fuse your new teeth with your jaw bone. As with other forms of surgery, there are ways you can make recovery easier and reduce your chances of infection. Here are some handy tips for healing after your implant treatment.

Improve Oral Hydration

Your salivary glands work hard to produce the saliva that washes bacteria away. Unfortunately, there are lots of ways you can accidentally encounter dry mouth and allow bacteria to breed. Ahead of your implant insertion, you should begin working on promoting better oral hydration. In addition to drinking more water, consider eliminating salty foods and pay attention to medications that may make your mouth dry. If you're a smoker, you should also consider quitting smoking. 

Try Quitting Smoking 

Alongside making your mouth dry, smoking impacts osseointegration - the process that allows your implants to fuse with the jaw bone. While you may not find that smoking eliminates the chances of osseointegration occurring altogether, it can slow it down significantly. Additionally, it increases your chances of experiencing a post-surgical infection.

Once your dentist schedules your surgery, get the wheels in motion for quitting smoking. Quitting well ahead of your surgery rather than just before it increases your chances of success. As many people find surgery stressful, it isn't unusual to feel as though quitting is an impossible task when your implantation date is near.

Nurture the Healing Clot

Immediately after your surgery, a blood clot will form. This is part of the wound healing process and the clot must remain there to ensure the success of your implant treatment. To nurture the clot, make sure you avoid swilling water around your mouth. Additionally, avoid using straws and spitting, as both actions introduce muscle movements that may dislodge the clot. You may also find that it is tempting to run your tongue or fingers along the wound healing area. By avoiding doing this, you can keep the clot in place and reduce the risk of bringing bacteria into the healing wound.

Finally, always make sure you follow your dentist's recovery advice. Many will provide pre and post-operative tips, and they should give you a contact number so that you can reach out to them if you're experiencing any issues. With a combination of professional advice and self-care, your implants will settle in nicely and you can enjoy your new smile.

To learn more about dental implants, contact a local dental clinic.