Implant aftercare and maintenance

Last medically reviewed by Dr Sam Jethwa: January 21, 2021

A Patient’s Guide to Dental Implant Aftercare 

The implant procedure is overall very straightforward with rarely any complications. 

Below, our implantologists have enlisted the top aftercare priorities and care needed following your surgery.

No specialist care will be required following the procedure, however, there are a few simple rules that will need to be followed to ensure the healing period is as comfortable and quick as possible.

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Quick questions:

  1. How long will recovery take? The full recovery process can take six months.
  2. Will it be uncomfortable? Your recovery time will not be painful, however, the level of pain you will experience will often depend on the amount of work taken. If you do not leave our office with a prescription, the doctor will likely feel that your discomfort will be very low. Ibuprofen is usually adequate once the effects of anaesthesia wear off.
  3. When can you eat, and what? An hour after surgery you can remove the gauze sponges and eat. Make sure to only eat soft foods for the next few hours and avoid hot food and drinks. Refrain from also using a straw following 24 hours after surgery.
  4. Can I drive home? If you were put to sleep for your surgery, we recommend you do not drive as it may take some time for your alertness and coordination to restore. The blurring of vision is also normal following anaesthesia. When opting for sedation we advise being accompanied by a responsible adult, who can remain at our clinic to take you home afterwards.
  5. When will I get my teeth? This will depend on the type of implant treatment you have received. Often the lower jaw is ready for teeth around three months following surgery. Upper jaw implants can take slightly longer. Temporary teeth can be fixed during this time. The dentist will want to allow the gum to heal and for the implant to fuse successfully with the jaw bone (osseointegrate) before placing your permanent restoration.

The day of surgery

Stay hydrated, but avoid any alcoholic beverages, hot drinks, hot or spicy foods.

It will be advisable to not eat until the local anaesthetic has worn off.

Eating after surgery following the first few days might be slightly challenging, but do your best to eat nourishing foods as this will help to speed up the healing process. Soft foods eaten away from the implant site will be best.

After seven days most of our patients can return to their normal diets and can once again eat foods such as seeds and popcorn.

What to expect after dental implant treatment

Straight after the implant surgery, you will want to avoid rinsing your mouth as not to disturb the surgical site.

This means not to poke or prod this area with your tongue or fingers for the remainder of the day.

You’ll want to be wary of dislodging the blood cot and slowing down the healing process.

The pain will be minimal and can be treated with over the counter medications.

You’ll be fit and able to return to work the next day. However, the day of your surgery please restrict your activities/physical exertions. 

The stitches will be dissolvable and will do this by themselves usually after seven days.  

Rules:

  • Do not spit
  • Do not smoke
  • Do not use a straw
  • Poke or prod the site area with fingers or tongue

How to care for your implants after surgery (long-term aftercare)?

After your period of healing and your new permanent teeth have been fixed there is no special aftercare that will be required.

Implants function and mimic natural teeth, therefore they need to care for exactly the same way as regular, natural teeth.

We would advise keeping your mouth as healthy as possible to brush twice a day, floss and visit your hygienist regularly. 

Dental implant success

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It has been reported by many patients that dental implant treatment is actually much less painful than a tooth extraction or root canal treatment. 

Placement surgery is often a lot easier than a lot of people expect or imagine.

It is a treatment that is very well planned from beginning to end and is carried out by only the best dentists with a special interest in implant dentistry. 

Therefore, the success of the procedure is often very high with average rates being over 90%.

The final outcome and success of your implant procedure will rely entirely on good oral hygiene and upkeep. 

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