Post Dental Implant Surgery: What Should One Be Careful About?

Dental Implant Surgeries is quite a simple surgery in which a diseased or missing tooth is replaced with metal implants. The advancement in dental surgeries over the years and the preparations that go before an implant surgery has made it quite a straightforward surgery. Most of the planning about the implant like the approach to be taken, the metal to be used, and impression of the tooth are all done much before the surgery.[1,2]

Prior to a dental implant, a detailed oral examination is done by the dentist that will include detailed radiographs of the area where the implant will be placed in the form of x-ray and CT scan. This also helps the physician assess the bone health and shape of the patient which is an added bonus when it comes to planning a dental implant surgery. It is not only the surgery that one should be thoughtful about it is also the information of what should be done after a dental implant surgery that requires equal attention.[1,2]

Post dental implant surgery, it is the responsibility of the patient to maintain good oral hygiene and taken good care of the implant. The more a person takes care of the implant the lesser problems he or she will have to face. Experts state that if the dental implants are well taken care of and the bone that they are fitted in is healthy then one implant may last for many years without any problems.[1,2]

Post a dental implant surgery, the patient will be given detailed instructions on what to do and to avoid after the implantation for a successful outcome.[1,2] This article highlights some of the things to be careful about after a dental implant surgery.

What Should I Be Careful About After Dental Implant Surgery?

Some of the immediate complications that can occur that one should be careful about after a dental implantation surgery include.[1,2]

Bleeding: As is inherent with any surgery, slight bleeding should be expected after a dental implant surgery. The person may observe red colored saliva for some time after the surgery. For this, it is important to continuously bite on the gauze put on the implant for 40 minutes or so and not to remove the gauze to check for any bleeding. This is because removal of the gauze may interfere with clot formation and cause more bleeding.[1,2]

If firm pressure is maintained then the bleeding should stop within 6 hours of the surgery. In case if the bleeding continues, one can use a moist teabag and bite on it for additional half an hour. Tea Bag contains tannic acid which helps in clot formation. It should be ensured not to rinse the mouth after the surgery for at least 48 hours. It is also important to keep the tongue away from the surgical site.[1,2]

Pain: The intensity of pain may be variable and differ from person to person. For minor pains, over the counter pain medications like ibuprofen or Tylenol taken every 3 to 4 hours should suffice for pain control. In case if pain is severe, then medications will have to be prescribed by the dentist and should be taken as instructed. The medications should not be taken on an empty stomach as it may lead to nausea.[1,2]

It should also be noted that after taking pain medications one must avoid driving or operating heavy machinery since these medications may make the person groggy. Additionally, it is necessary to avoid all alcoholic beverages till the time the pain subsides. It usually takes a couple of days for pain to fade away after a dental implant surgery. In case if the pain does not subside, then a visit to a physician is recommended for further treatment.[1,2]

Antibiotics: One should also be careful when taking antibiotics if prescribed by the dentist after a dental implant surgery. It is necessary to take the medication as instructed and complete the full course. For females of reproductive age and sexually active, antibiotics given after a dental implant surgery may decrease the efficacy of birth control pills. Thus, it is better to consult with a physician before starting on antibiotics.i[1,2]

Swelling: It is also common to observe facial swelling after a dental implant surgery. The common areas where swelling can be observed are the face, cheek, eyes, and mouth. This occurs as a natural reaction of the body following the surgery. It may also be difficult to open the mouth for some time due to stiffness of the jaw muscles after the surgery. This is something that persists for a few days before fading away.[1,2]

The swelling can be controlled using ice packs at the affected area for 15-20 minutes two to three times a day for a couple of days. After that, warm packs need to be used for 15-20 minutes three to four times a day. Swelling can also be minimized by elevating the head of the bed for the first two days following the dental implant surgery. It normally takes about 5-6 days for the swelling to completely resolve.[1,2]

Oral Hygiene: Post dental implant surgery, it is vital to maintain good oral hygiene. As stated above, no rinsing of the mouth should be done for at least 48 hours following the surgery. After two days, gently rinse the mouth with lukewarm salt water first thing in the morning, after each meal, and before bedtime. This should be done for at least two weeks following the surgery.[1,2]

It is okay to brush the teeth but care should be taken to avoid the surgical area and a gentle toothbrush should be used. After a month out from the dental implant surgery, one can start brushing the implant as well.[1,2]

Diet: One should also be careful about what foods to take and what to avoid after a dental implant surgery. It is vital to avoid any kind of abrasive foods like nuts, seeds, or chips for at least one week. It is important to avoid any kind of carbonated beverages for at least a week post a dental implant surgery.[1,2]

For the first 4-6 hours after the surgery, one can eat soft foods like yogurt, ice cream, or milk shake till the numbness of the anesthesia clears off. One should avoid chewing from the newly placed implant or use the surgical site to chew food. One should eat foods rich in protein and high calorie diet is recommended. It is recommended to eat foods like pasta, eggs, or cooked veggies for at least six hours after the surgery.[1,2]

It is also important to keep the body hydrated after the surgery by drinking fluids at regular intervals. The restrictions in food intake are only for the first few days after surgery after which normal diet may resume.[1,2]

In summary, dental implant surgery is a relatively minor surgery thanks to all the preparations that take place beforehand and the advancement that technology has made in the last decade or so in the field of dentistry. There are hardly any complications that arise after a dental implant surgery.[1,2]

However, one should be careful about certain issues which may arise that have been detailed above. It is vital to maintain a good oral hygiene to keep the implant healthy and allow is to last for years without any problems after a dental implant surgery.[1,2]

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