If you have a gap in your smile, dental implants can provide replacements for the missing teeth. Although they are a fantastic option for preserving your long-term dental health, dental implants involve a fitting procedure that presents some risks and requires a period of recovery. Here are a few tips that can help to ease your recovery after a dental implant procedure.
1. Avoid Tobacco Use
Smokers have a much higher rate of dental implant failure than non-smokers. The chemicals in tobacco can interfere with healing as well as damaging your general gum health. Chewing tobacco can be just as risky as smoking. Using an e-cigarette is lower risk, although it can still dry out the mouth, which can cause discomfort after a dental implant procedure. The best option is to try to kick the habit in the time leading up to your dental implant procedure. Your doctor or dentist can give you support in the form of nicotine replacement or therapy.
2. Avoid Alcohol
Alcohol can also create problems during the dental implant recovery period. Drinking alcoholic drinks can make post-procedure pain worse, as the alcohol dilates blood vessels, therefore making the gums more sensitive. This dilation also increases the risk of bleeding during your recovery period.
3. Eat Softer Foods
It is normal to find chewing difficult after a dental implant procedure. Once your implants are fully healed and integrated, eating should be much easier, but for now, you can save yourself discomfort by sticking to softer foods, such as oatmeal or mashed potato. Soups and smoothies are also good options, but be careful not to eat them too hot or too cold, as you might experience temperature sensitivity.
4. Rinse With Salty Water
After your dental implant procedure, your dentist will probably tell you to rinse your mouth with salty water a few times a day to limit the growth of bacteria which can cause infection. Saltwater rinses can also be soothing if you experience pain. When rinsing your mouth, do not swish the water with too much force — you do not want to risk dislodging any clots or interfering with healing at the implant site.
5. Use Appropriate Pain Medication
For most people, paracetamol and ibuprofen are the best pain medications to use to control pain after a dental implant procedure. It is best to avoid aspirin, which can increase the risk of oral bleeding. If a medical condition prevents you from taking paracetamol or ibuprofen, ask your dentist for advice. They may be able to prescribe an alternative medication.
For more information about the dental implant procedure, talk to your dentist.