As a permanent solution for lost teeth, dental implants bring many benefits. However, there is a small risk of infection and other complications following the dental implant fitting procedure. These five tips can help you to avoid complications and stay as comfortable as possible during recovery.
1. Don't Smoke
Failure rates for dental implants are much higher in smokers than in non-smokers. While more than 98 percent of implants fitted in non-smokers successfully integrate into the gums, implants have a long-term failure rate of more than 15 percent in smokers.
Cigarette smoke contains multiple chemicals that reduce healing, which means that your recovery from oral surgery could be longer and more painful if you light up. Try to cut down before your fitting procedure so your withdrawal cravings during recovery are less severe.
2. Don't Drink Alcohol
Like smoking, drinking alcohol also reduces your body's ability to heal wounds. Alcoholic drinks can interfere with the blood clot that forms over the site of a new implant, increasing the risk that it will dislodge prematurely. Alcohol also dilates blood vessels in the mouth, leading to an increase in sensitivity, which is the last thing you need when recovering from oral surgery.
3. Be Vigilant About Oral Hygiene
Even though your gums are likely to be sensitive after getting implants, it is still very important to clean them every morning and evening. Use a soft toothbrush to avoid irritating the sensitive tissue. You should also use a salt water rinse to limit the growth of bacteria in your mouth and therefore reduce the risk of infection.
4. Complete Your Course of Antibiotics
Dentists often prescribe antibiotics to prevent infection after oral surgery. If your dentist gives you antibiotics, it is vital that you take the whole course. Do not stop taking the pills simply because you feel alright, as doing this can lead to an infection developing.
5. Eat Soft Foods at First
One of the major benefits of dental implants is that they let you enjoy eating all your favourite foods. When fully integrated, they provide much greater bite strength than dentures. However, during the healing period it is a good idea to stick to softer foods, such as well-cooked vegetables, mashed potatoes, oatmeal and yoghurt. These foods require less chewing, which means your implants get a chance to settle into their placements in your gums before you put them to work.
Ever since I was a little girl, I have loved stories about the past. Whether the stories were about horses, wars, exploration or even dentistry, I loved to hear them. I find that knowing the history of something helps it to make sense and feel approachable. I know that some people have dental anxiety, and I too have suffered, but I also feel like the more you know about dental work and its history, the easier it is. This blog is dedicated to exploring the history of dentistry – What did ancient people use for fillings? How did early dentists numb their patients? Who was the first dentist? Those are just some of the questions I plan to answer here. Ready? Okay, let's dive into the history of dentistry together!