How to look after your dental implants

Keeping your mouth and dental implants clean

  • Successful oral surgery depends on keeping the mouth as clean as possible.
  • You should also start cleaning your other teeth as normal with a toothbrush, starting on the evening of your surgery.  Avoid brushing the surgical site for the first few days, but then begin to carefully clean this area with a toothbrush as well, once tenderness permits.
  • Hot salt mouthwashes (a cup of hot water with a teaspoon of salt) are very beneficial for healing in the first week.  Ensure that the mouthwash is not so hot that it scalds and then hold the hot mouthwash over the surgical site until it cools.  Repeat as often as possible.
  • Try to keep food away from the surgical area for as long as possible. Rinse following eating to keep the area clean.
  • You are advised not to smoke until the wound has healed, as this severely limits healing in the mouth.

What should I avoid after my implant treatment?

  • Take care to only have cold drinks and do not eat until the local anaesthetic has worn off. Avoid hot drinks or hot food for the first day and do not ‘swill’ liquid over the area. Try not to disturb the area with your tongue or fingers. Do not undertake strenuous exercise (eg running / gym) for the first 48 hours.

Will there be swelling or bruising around the implant?

  • You may have some swelling and/or bruising following your treatment – this usually reaches a peak two to three days later.  This is quite normal and both will subside naturally after a few days. Swelling can be reduced with ice packs (or a bag of frozen peas) wrapped in a towel. Hold on the cheek area for a maximum of ten minutes at a time with twenty minutes’ break. After twenty-four hours, gentle heat is more beneficial. Sleeping propped up slightly on two to three pillows may also help.

Will there be pain after the implant procedure ?

  • Pain should not be a big problem. Although you may be sore for a few days after any surgery in your mouth, this can be easily managed with simple analgesics (painkillers).  You should take these regularly at the maximum stated dose for the first two days after your surgery. Take whatever painkillers you normally take for headaches, aches, and sprains (ibuprofen and paracetamol make a good combination), and take your first dose before the local anaesthetic has completely worn off.

  • If after a few days you experience increasing pain and swelling, you must return to The Implant Centre as soon as possible, so that we can ensure you are not beginning to develop an infection.

Can I wear my denture after treatment ?

  • If you have a denture that covers the surgical area, please wear it as little as possible for the first week to protect the surgical site during its initial healing period. You should always leave the denture out at night.

What about the stitches around the implant ?

  • The stitches are dissolvable but often remain for around two to three weeks. If they are uncomfortable or annoying, you may contact us to remove them.

  • Some minor bleeding after surgery in the mouth is perfectly normal. If this persists, apply pressure by biting firmly down over the area on a dampened gauze swab or clean handkerchief for sixty minutes whilst sitting upright. Do not keep checking or changing the gauze. You should contact us if bleeding persists for any reason after applying pressure in this way.

  • If you have been given a course of antibiotics to take after your surgery, please ensure that you complete the course.

We want your recovery to be as smooth and pleasant as possible.

It is vital to follow these instructions very carefully – if you have any concerns or questions regarding your progress, please do not hesitate to contact us.

An out-of-hours contact number is always available on our answerphone.

If you’ve any general Dental Implant questions, visit our FAQ’s Page

How to clean your implant crown

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