Once you have your dental implant you want to do whatever is possible to ensure that your new tooth lasts. Many of our patients ask us how they are supposed to care for an implant. While caring for an implant is fairly simple, it’s still important to understand what’s involved in caring for this popular tooth replacement.
What is a dental implant?
A dental implant replaces an entire missing tooth, from the roots to the crown. The implant itself is a small titanium post that is embedded into the jawbone and takes the place of the tooth roots. Once surgically placed into the jawbone, the implant and bone will fuse together naturally in a procedure known as osseointegration. Healing varies from patient to patient and can take anywhere from 3-6 months.
After your implant surgery, Dr. Ebrahimian and his team will provide you with a variety of care instructions and tips to follow until the gums heal from surgery. Some of these tips include,
- Consuming only soft foods (preferably, liquids) for the first two days after surgery
- Not rinsing the mouth out for the first 24 hours
- Taking painkillers to alleviate discomfort
- Keeping the head elevated and resting as much as possible for at least the first 12 hours after your surgery
It can take anywhere from 6 months to one year to get your full dental implant. Of course, once you get your implant you will want to turn your focus toward the best ways to care for your smile and your new tooth.
How do you care for a dental implant?
It’s important that you brush and floss your implant just as you would your natural teeth. In fact, you will want to treat your implant just like a real tooth, making sure to keep it clean of plaque, food particles and bacteria. You should be brushing at least twice a day and flossing daily in order to maintain a healthy smile with your new dental implant.
You will also want to keep up with routine dental checkups. You should visit our dentist at least every six months for cleanings and to make sure that your implant is healthy. If you notice any concerns such as bleeding around the implant or swollen gums, it’s important that you call us right away. With the proper oral hygiene in place, patients can maintain their dental implants the rest of their lives.