Did you know you can directly impact the success of your dental implants?
Dental implants are a natural-looking solution to missing teeth and will boost your self-confidence and health. It’s crucial to develop an oral hygiene routine immediately after receiving your new teeth.
Like regular teeth, implants can collect food which can turn into plaque if not removed. This can cause the surrounding areas of your dental implants to become infected and lead to oral diseases. Dr. Klym recommends having nylon-coated floss on hand and scheduling dental hygienists appointments consistently.
The Initial Recovery Period
The first two weeks after the procedure, especially the first 48 hours, is a crucial time for you to take proper care of your mouth to ensure your implants heal correctly. Soreness of the jaw and mouth are common symptoms after the surgery.
Dr. Klym recommends the following tips:
- Rinse with salt water 2-3 times a day
- Avoid smoking and alcohol for the first three days of recovery
- Brush with a gentle toothbrush
- Apply ice if inflammation occurs
- Keep physical activity to a minimum
- Eat softer foods until sensitivity is eliminated
Long-term Dental Implant Care
Once the initial healing process is complete, follow these guidelines to make sure your dental implants remain healthy and attractive for years to come.
Maintain Proper Oral Care
Once you recover from surgery, you’re likely to gain improved self-esteem and overall freedom in your life. However, your implants will only last a lifetime if you take proper care of them.
To keep your gums healthy and your teeth beautiful we recommend you:
- Brush twice a day — use a soft-bristled toothbrush and non-abrasive toothpaste
- Floss at least once a day — with nylon-coated floss
- Rinse with mouthwash — choose one without alcohol
- Professional cleanings — schedule biannual checkups with Dr. Klym
Choose the Best Dental Care Products
While you can brush and floss your dental implants the same way you do your natural teeth, there are some guidelines for choosing your oral care products. Avoiding products that can scratch or damage the replacement teeth will make sure they look beautiful for years to come.
- Toothbrush – Choose one with soft bristles that won’t irritate the surrounding gum tissue or scratch your restoration.
- Toothpaste – Find a gentle product that doesn’t contain any harsh or abrasive ingredients, which are common in toothpaste designed for teeth whitening or for smokers.
- Floss – Pick one that’s nylon coated or specially made for use with dental implants.
- Mouthwash – Avoid any that list alcohol as an ingredient because it can dry out your mouth and interfere with healing.
Frequently Asked Questions
It's been years since my extraction, can I still get a dental implant?
Patients typically need to wait a minimum of 10 weeks after extraction to receive dental implants. Even if it’s been a few years, you’re one step closer to dental implant candidacy.
The only concern we may have if it’s been years since your extraction is whether or not you have sufficient bone density. One of the risks of living with missing teeth is bone loss in your jaw.
Candidacy for this procedure depends on a few factors, such as sufficient bone density and good overall oral health. The best way to know if you’re a candidate is to schedule a consultation with Dr. Klym at our Petosky office by calling (231) 774-6819.
During the consultation, he’ll examine your oral health and bone density to determine if you’re an ideal candidate for implants. Dr. Klym may also recommend supplemental procedures so that you can qualify for dental implants.
Can I eat steak with dental implants?
Once your dental implant has fully healed, you can enjoy a normal diet without any restrictions. Best of all, you won’t have to worry about shifting when you’re eating and speaking because the implant is secured to your jaw.
However, you’ll need to wait at least one week after your procedure before you can enjoy certain foods. These include, but aren’t limited to, foods that are:
- Chewy (bagels, gummies)
- Crunchy (chips, popcorn)
- Hot (soup, coffee)
- Spicy (salsa, hot peppers)
- Sticky (caramels, taffy)
- Acidic (oranges, tomatoes)
- Tough (steak, raw vegetables)
If you have any questions about how to care for your dental implants, be sure to ask Dr. Klym at your next visit. You can also call our Petoskey office with any questions at (231) 774-6819 and a knowledgeable team member will be happy to assist you.
How long does it take to recover from dental implant surgery?
Most patients recover from their dental implant procedure after four to six months. Your recovery time will depend on many factors, including how many implants you received. However, you should be able to return to your regular diet and activities after about one week.
During your initial consultation, Dr. Klym will provide you with a rough estimate of how long treatment and recovery will take.
If you’re experiencing frequent or severe pain after a week or so after your procedure, schedule an appointment at our Petoskey office by calling (231) 774-681 so Dr. Klym can assess your situation.
Can I go to work the day after receiving a dental implant?
In most cases, patients are able to go to work the day after their implant procedure. Some may require a day or two off to recover depending on their situation. However, this also depends on the type of work you do and if any complications arise after your procedure.
Every patient is different, so it’s best to plan on taking at least one day off of work after receiving your implant. For jobs that require vigorous physical activity, you may need two days to rest before returning.