After Dental Implant Surgery

After Dental Implant Surgery in Silver Spring, Md.

You don’t have to live with that missing tooth anymore! Dr. Allen Gotora and the team at Stellar Dental can help with a dental implant. Getting a dental implant is a surgical procedure, though, and there are some things that you should know about the postoperative period.

 

What is a dental implant?

ImplantsA dental implant is a restoration to replace a missing tooth. It looks and feels very natural. There are three parts to a dental implant:

  • A titanium post, which is surgically implanted into the jawbone. Over time (about three to six months), the post fuses tightly with the bone. While the post fuses to the jawbone (a process known as “osseointegration”), Dr. Gotora will give you a temporary crown so that you can eat and speak normally.
  • An abutment, which is placed on top of the post and acts as the base of the new tooth.
  • A false tooth, which fits on top of the abutment.

 

What are the advantages of getting a dental implant?

For one thing, dental implants have a very high success rate, from 95 percent to 98 percent. Dental implants look and feel like real teeth. It can be hard for anyone to even tell the difference between the implant and the patient’s natural teeth. Implants are easy to maintain. You take care of them just like your natural teeth by brushing, flossing and visiting Stellar Dental twice a year for your cleanings and exams.

And, if you are missing a tooth, something should be done to replace it. A missing tooth can result in serious problems for the jawbone, the gums and the remaining teeth. It can make it difficult to enjoy life because it is hard to even enjoy the simple things, like eating your favorite foods, smiling and talking.

 

Is a dental implant procedure painful?

Most patients report that getting a dental implant made them a little sore but that the procedure was less painful than having a tooth pulled.

If Dr. Gotora prescribes pain medication, you should start taking it before the anesthesia wears off and before discomfort sets in. You should take it on a full stomach or at least with some fruit juice or a full glass of water. If you don’t have a prescription for pain medication, you can try an over-the-counter pain reliever.

 

What should I know about post implant surgery care?

If you take good care of yourself, you will be back to your normal routine in no time. For 48 to 72 hours, after your implant surgery, you should rest. Avoid strenuous exercise for a few days after the surgery. When you get back into your exercise routine, if your implant site starts to throb or bleed you should stop immediately.

It is important to get adequate nutrition after surgery even though you may not feel like eating (however, make sure you wait until the local anesthetic wears off before trying to eat or drink). You can start with cold, filling drinks, such as Ensure or Instant Breakfast. Stick to soft foods for a few days before you return to your regular diet. Even with soft foods, chew on the side of the mouth opposite to the implant.

fluids2Make sure you drink plenty of fluids. Stick to cold drinks. Avoid hot drinks and hot food the first day. You may have some swelling and/or bruising after the surgery. This will usually be at its worst two to three days after the surgery. Use an ice pack to bring down the swelling, holding it on the cheek for 10 minutes and then removing it for 20 minutes. A day after the surgery, you can use heat. It will help swelling if you lie with your head slightly elevated.

Avoid touching the surgery site with your fingers or tongue. If you received implants in the upper jaw, avoid blowing your nose for two weeks. Some minor bleeding is normal. You can bite down on a damp piece of gauze to stop minor bleeding.

 

How do I clean my mouth after dental implant surgery?

It is very important that you keep up good oral hygiene habits after your surgery. Brush your teeth as you normally would but avoid brushing the surgical site for the first few days. After that, carefully brush the implant area.

A warm salt water mouth rinse will help with healing and can rinse debris off of teeth. Use a cup of warm water mixed with a teaspoon of salt. If you experience an increase in pain and swelling or if the bleeding persists in the days after your implant surgery, you should call Stellar Dental right away.

 

If you are considering dental implant surgery, you will be in the best of hands if you choose Stellar Dental and Dr. Gotora! Stellar Dental has two convenient locations in Silver Spring and  Hyattsville. Call (301) 754-1900 to make an appointment today!