If an accident or an oral infection like periodontal disease has caused you to lose one of your teeth, then a replacement is a good idea. A dental implant may work for you if you are in otherwise good health. However, you should know that dental implantation requires the completion of a major oral surgery. Once the surgery is completed, you will need to take care of the surgical site very carefully to ensure proper healing and to also keep the dental implant root from moving in any way. Keep reading to learn about a few tips to help you with the healing process.
Do Not Place Pressure On The Implant
It is essential that you resist the urge to look at or probe at the dental implant after your surgical procedure. The dental implant root is placed in the jaw through a hole that is drilled just big enough to fit the titanium root. This root has tapers along the side that will cut into the bone a small amount as the root is set into the hole. This helps to keep the root in place during the first stages of the healing process. As healing progresses, new bone cells will start to form and attach to the root device. However, if pressure is placed on the root while this is happening, the slight shift may damage the new bone cells and dislodge them from the implant. It will then take longer for the bone to secure to the dental root. In general, it will take around three to six months for the bone around the dental implant to secure to the implant, but this timeframe can be lengthened if the root is disturbed.
Your oral surgeon will place a small cap on the open end of the dental implant. This protects the space and also prevents you from placing a good deal of pressure on the device. However, you should also make sure that you do not probe or push on this cap with your fingers. Also, food should not press against it either. This is especially important during the first few weeks after implant placement.
A small bit of pressure around the implant zone might be necessary if you notice gum bleeding. Bleeding is normal and you should place a piece of clean gauze up to the area to help the wound clot. Use only minimal pressure if this happens, though, and use your hands alone. Do not bite down on the gauze or place something in your mouth to assist with the clotting.
Keep The Surgical Area Clean
Another important thing that you need to do after the dental implant is secured is to try to prevent the formation of infections. Infections around the dental implant can sometimes travel to the bone and cause the death of the tissues. In other cases, the swollen and infected gums will place pressure on the implant and dislodge it, or the gums will pull away from the surgical area and reveal the jaw bone. All of these things can lead to prolonged healing and the failure of the dental implant.
The best way to keep the surgical area clean is to use the mouthwash provided by your oral surgeon. You will likely be asked to use this fluid for about one week and you will need to start using it the day of your operation. This mouthwash will be a chlorhexidine rinse that has strong antibacterial properties to kill a large portion of the bacteria that live in the mouth. Use this mouthwash by placing the fluid in your mouth and holding it around the surgical area. Spit out the rinse afterwards. Do not swish it around the mouth or this may cause blood clots to dislodge. Also, brush your teeth normally after your surgery to get rid of as much plaque as possible so that bacteria cannot thrive in the mouth.
For more information about dental care, consider contacting a professional like those at Gordon Dental.