April 21, 2021

Dental Implant Aftercare - How Hard is it to Care for Dental Implants?

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The positive effects of dental implant aftercare and what can happen if you don't

As a seasoned oral surgeon at Nuvia Dental Implant Center, I frequently discuss the dental implant aftercare with prospective patients. The truth is, while the process involves some commitment, caring for dental implants is not so different from the care of your natural teeth. Understanding how to care for dental implants ahead of time can help you decide if dental implants are right for you.

How Long Will My Dental Implants Look Brand New?

Before we get into what proper dental implant aftercare looks like - let’s address a common concern people have about getting dental implants. Many patients wonder if their implants will get stained over time, especially from drinks like coffee and red wine.

Nuvia’s good news is that you can get implants made from zirconia, a durable, strong material that does not stain easily. With proper care, this material helps to keep your new smile looking brand new for years. Check out this stain test we did on our zirconia dental implants:

Basic Home Instructions for Dental Implant Aftercare

How to Care For Dental Implants

The foundation of dental implant aftercare is remarkably similar to how you would care for your natural teeth. Although, due to the nature of fake teeth, there are some tailored approaches that can be taken. 

Brushing at least twice a day and flossing daily are essential practices. However, with implants, especially those that are part of a full arch, flossing involves cleaning underneath the prosthetic structure. 

This daily routine is vital to managing the bacteria in your mouth and preventing the buildup that can harm your gums and the implants themselves. If you already have a good dental hygiene routine, dental implant aftercare will be a breeze.

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Caring for Dental Implants The First Few Days After Surgery

You can expect your day to day routine for dental implant aftercare to be similar to taking care of natural teeth; however the first few days after getting your permanent teeth requires more detailed care. 

For a few days after the treatment, there will undoubtedly be some soreness. Although this is to be expected, surprisingly, many of our patients note that they experience only minor discomfort that tends to subside fairly quickly. Ice packs or over-the-counter pain relief medications can help to reduce this swelling.

Day One – taking it easy and keeping things clean

On day one, rinsing your mouth out forcefully is discouraged, as it can dislodge stitching and encourage bleeding. Physical exercise should be avoided for the same reason.

Hot drinks and spicy foods will be on the same list of banned items and activities, but cold drinks may be soothing and are allowed.

Eating foods post-procedure can be a delicate experience for the first few days. During this time soft foods that are easy to chew are advisable.

Soft Food vs Liquid Food diet

Traditional methods of getting dental implants often involve a liquid-only diet for the first few weeks. This can be incredibly daunting for someone looking to restore their smile. However, you can enjoy a soft food diet from day 1 when you opt for permanent teeth in 24 hours from Nuvia. 

The Nuvia process not only makes the post-surgery period more enjoyable, it also makes dental implant aftercare that much simpler!

Looking for a smile transformation? Take our 60 Second Quiz to see if you may be a candidate for Dental Implants

How to Care for Dental Implants with Specialized Cleaning Tools

Beyond brushing and flossing, I recommend the use of tools like waterpiks, which can provide a targeted clean around and beneath the dental prosthetics. Waterpiks use a jet of water to help remove food particles and bacteria, mirroring the cleansing action that helps maintain natural teeth.

Your Toothbrush:

You may also want to plan on switching out your toothbrush, and possibly your toothpaste. Dental implants react better and will have fewer aftercare problems if a nylon-bristled toothbrush is used for cleaning. These types of bristles are pliable and very gentle while cleaning thoroughly at the same time. Similarly, I don’t recommend certain types of abrasive toothpastes.

Prevention of Gum Disease

While the prosthetic teeth themselves are immune to decay, your gums are still susceptible to disease. Regular dental implant aftercare including the use of mouthwash and meticulous cleaning are crucial in preventing gum disease, which can jeopardize the stability of your implants.

If you are missing teeth and want to improve your dental health, Take this 60-second quiz to see if you may be eligible for dental implants

Routine Dental Care and Check Ups

Routine check-ups with your dentist are vital, as they are with natural teeth. These visits allow your provider to monitor the health of your implants and the surrounding tissue and make any necessary adjustments to your dental implant aftercare plan. Depending on individual needs, the frequency of these visits can vary, but they typically include annual x-rays to assess the condition of the implants.

Protection Against Wear and Tear

To protect against wear and tear, particularly during sleep when teeth grinding can occur, I often recommend a mouth guard. This is similar to precautions taken with natural teeth and helps to preserve the dental implants.


Common Questions About Dental Implant Aftercare

What foods to avoid after dental implants?

How can I speed up healing after dental implants?

Can I drink coffee after dental implant?

What are the do's and dont’s after dental implants?

Cost Guide

Dental Implant Cost Guide

2024 Cost Guide

This guide is designed to walk you step by step through the dental implant process and each dental implant type with their associated costs.

  • Different implant types and their average costs
  • 4 little known factors that affect pricing
  • How much will dental & health insurance typically cover for dental implants?
  • What 1000’s of average Americans are doing to make this treatment affordable.
  • And more...
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