When tooth loss occurs, the health and function of the entire mouth is threatened. Dental implants replace missing teeth to restore oral functions, preserve the structure of the jaw, and enhance the beauty of the smile. Dental implants are most like the natural teeth, and are the only treatment that allow for the replacement of both the crown and roots of a tooth.
However, patients should understand that dental implant treatment is lengthy, and it requires a surgical procedure that may cause some discomfort. Here, we offer some tips that our Staten Island, NY, patients can use to reduce discomfort after dental implant surgery. To learn more, contact Staten Island Aesthetic & Implant Dentist.
Get Plenty of Rest
Dental implant surgery is not as invasive as most general surgery procedures, but it still takes a toll on the body. Patients are likely to find that they are more tired than usual on the day of their implant procedure, and for the first few days afterwards. It is important that patients allow themselves time to rest and recover. If patients push themselves too hard, discomfort may be more pronounced.
Avoid Crunchy Foods
After dental implant treatment, we recommend that our Staten Island patients adjust their diet. For optimal comfort, patients should stick to a liquid diet for the first two days after dental implant surgery. As comfort improves, patients can choose soft foods like yogurt, mashed potatoes, and soup. After patients resume eating solid foods, they should avoid any foods that increase discomfort, including those that are hard, crunchy, or chewy.
Use Pain Medication as Needed
Pain medication can be especially helpful in easing discomfort and reducing inflammation after dental implant surgery. Most patients get adequate relief by using over-the-counter pain medications, such as Ibuprofen, as directed on the bottle. However, if pain cannot be controlled, patients can talk to our dentists about increasing medication doses or getting a prescription for a stronger pain reliever.
Icepacks can provide great relief from discomfort after dental implant surgery. Icepacks help numb the treatment site to ease pain, and they are also effective at minimizing inflammation. After implant surgery, patients can apply icepacks to the cheeks around the treatment site. To avoid pain or damage from the ice, we recommend that patients wrap icepacks in a thin cloth before placing them on the skin, and keep the icepacks in place for no more than 20 minutes at a time. This can be repeated several times a day, as needed.
Maintain Good Oral Hygiene
Good oral hygiene promotes effective healing and also decreases the risk of infection, which can be a major source of pain after dental implant surgery. To keep the teeth and gums clean and cut back on bacteria, patients should continue to brush and floss the teeth.
However, patients should avoid brushing directly on the incision sites until they have healed. Warm salt water rinses can help keep incisions site clean until regular brushing can be resumed.
If you would like to learn more about dental implant treatment to address tooth loss, the experienced dental team at Staten Island Aesthetic & Implant Dentist would be happy to answer any questions you have. Contact us at your earliest convenience or schedule an appointment with one of our dentists by calling (718) 705-4434.