Dental implants are becoming increasingly popular as a permanent solution for replacing missing teeth. The dental implant process involves placing the implant in the jaw, attaching the post, and then placing the crown. If you are getting one or more dental implants, it is important to know how to care for your mouth during the process as well as the crown of your implant after the process is complete. Use the following tips when getting dental implants:
Use Salt Water Rinses
During the first phase of the dental implant process, the gum tissue is opened up and a drill is used to make a hole in the jaw where the implant is placed. The gums will then be sutured shut for a few days; after the sutures are removed, it will take a couple of months for the jaw and gums to heal before the post and crown can be attached. During the days and weeks after the implant is placed, swish salt water on a regular basis to keep the surgical area clean and avoid infections.
Finish All Antibiotics
After the implant is placed in your jaw bone, your dentist will prescribe a course of antibiotics. It is extremely important to take the antibiotics exactly as prescribed in order to prevent infection after the oral surgery. If you neglect to take all of your antibiotics and your mouth or jaw becomes infected, your implant may fail and need to be removed before the post and crown can be added.
Choose the Right Toothpaste
Once the post and crown are attached to your dental implant, it will have the look of a natural tooth. But, the crown of your implant will need to be taken care of a little bit differently than a normal tooth. Make sure that you choose the right toothpaste—toothpastes with sodium fluoride, stain removers, or baking soda can too abrasive to use on the crown of a dental implant and can scratch or remove portions of the outer layer of the crown.
Inspect Your Dental Implant Regularly
In most cases, patients do not experience any difficulties or complications after the three phases or inserting a dental implant is complete. But, when you have a dental implant, it is important to inspect it regularly to check for signs of redness or swelling. If you see redness, swelling of the surrounding tissue, or feel irritation contact your dentist as soon as possible. In the rare event that your dental implant becomes infected, it should be treated quickly to prevent the infection from escalating.
To learn more about dental implants and the process of getting them, contact resources such as John S. Lyon DDS.