Dental implants are an excellent alternative to dentures. They're also an expensive investment you won't want to lose. At 98%, the success rate for dental implants is high. However, that still leaves 2% that will fail. Follow these tips to ensure that your dental implant is a success.
Following surgery, your mouth will feel sore. Use a cold compress to help reduce swelling, and eat soft foods. You may be prescribed antibiotics, and it is important to take the whole course even when you feel fine. Rest for a few days; you have had surgery and your body will benefit from some time to recuperate. Your dentist will give you information on what to look out for. If you have any unusual symptoms, contact your dentist as soon as possible.
Stop Smoking: Before and After
Smoking is one of the most likely causes of dental implant failure for a number of reasons. Tobacco smoke contains bacteria, which can cause gum infections around your implant. It can also cause gum inflammation, which increases the likelihood of implant failure. Your implant needs to fuse with your bone -- this is called osseointegration. Smoking slows down this vital process. It also impedes the healing of the area. Ideally, you should stop smoking fully before the implant procedure and remain a non-smoker afterwards if you want to ensure success. If you really can't quit, then stop smoking for a few weeks before treatment and refrain from starting again for two weeks post-surgery.
Avoid Alcohol after Surgery
While it may be tempting to reach for a glass of wine following your treatment, it's not a good idea. Alcohol can thin the blood and prevent clotting, which is necessary for a fast recovery. To ensure healthy clotting, avoid alcohol for two weeks following surgery.
Good Dental Hygiene
Following surgery, your dentist may advise you not to brush around the treated area for a few days to avoid dislodging the newly implanted tooth. If this is the case, your dentist will suggest that you use a special anti-bacterial mouthwash until brushing can be resumed. When this recommended time has passed, it is essential that you maintain good hygiene. While your implanted tooth may not be prone to decay, the bone and gum that hold in your implant are. Dental implants can suffer from peri-implantitis, which is the dental implant version of gum disease. It's essential to brush and floss daily around your implant, as you would with your natural teeth. Your dentist will show you exactly how to clean and advise you on the best tools for the job. Maintain regular check-ups with your dentist to ensure any problems are identified and treated early.