Dental implants are more than just a way to replace missing teeth. The dental implant process involves your gums and jawbone as well, so the health of your gums is very important before, during, and after implant placement. Read on for information about caring for your gums after having dental implants placed.
During the Healing Process
Dental implants are titanium rods that are screwed into your jawbone and function as artificial tooth roots. In order to successfully support dental implants, you need to have healthy gums and a sufficient amount of bone mass in your jaw. After your implants are placed, they will undergo a process called osseointegration, which is where the titanium rods fuse with your jawbone. Osseointegration can take between three to six months depending on the patient, and the incisions in your gums where the implants were placed will heal during this time as well.
While your gums heal and the implants fuse with your jaw, it is important to take care of your gums near the implant sites. We will give you specific instructions about follow-up care when you come in for your surgery, but in general you can expect some minor swelling and bleeding for the first day or two, which you should be able to relieve with ice and gauze. We recommend eating soft foods during the healing process to avoid irritating your gums. Stay away from spicy foods, very hot or cold foods and beverages, and foods that are likely to get stuck at the implant site, such as popcorn, nuts, and seeds. Do not smoke, as smoking can severely inhibit the healing process.
For the first few days after getting your dental implants, we suggest rinsing your mouth gently with warm salt water after meals. We recommend avoiding the surgical area when you brush your teeth for the first few days, but you can brush and floss your other teeth like normal. After a few days, you should be able to use a toothbrush to clean your gums where you had your implants placed, but be gentle.
After your implants have healed and fused with your jaw, you are ready for your replacement teeth. These can be cared for just like natural teeth. Following proper oral hygiene after having implants placed is crucial for your gum health, so make sure you continue flossing once a day, brushing twice a day for two minutes each time, and seeing us for regular checkups. If you want to find out more about dental implants, contact our office today.
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