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Learn What to Expect After Getting a Dental Implant

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Recovering from dental implant surgery takes a little time and following a few simple steps. First, it is important to realize that despite it being minor, dental implant surgery is in fact surgery. As a patient, you will be placed under anesthesia, which means you will need a certain amount of time to get over its effects before you are able to drive. We recommend that you bring along a designated driver if you want to return home immediately after the surgery as we cannot allow a patient to drive until they are fully out from under the influence of the anesthesia. When you leave you will have a packet of information that guides you through the steps to a quick recovery, which we would like for you to read and follow.
Dental implants, once in place, are the best replacement to naturally occurring teeth. To get them to be strong and well rooted requires the skill of an expert dentist, oral surgeon or an orthodontist. For your part, recovery is a very important element. Recovery starts with understanding that there is a certain time commitment that will need to be made in order for your body to start the healing process. For the first few days, we recommend staying away from strenuous activities, like lifting heavy objects, and taking as much rest as possible. We also strongly advise eating soft foods like pudding, yogurt, and rice in order to prevent the site from becoming even more irritated.
As with any surgery, the greatest risk to a dental implant is that of infection. Infections can be introduced by any number of sources, often from that patient themselves. As such we strongly advise not touching the site of the implant with your fingers until it is completely healed. The fingers may transmit germs and bacteria to the mouth, which could then lead to an infection. In order to offset the chance of an infection, we will be giving you a prescription for antibiotics. Typically the treatment of antibiotics is a precautionary measure which will start the day after the surgery and often runs a course of several days. If you are prescribed antibiotics you will need to make sure to fill the prescription in a timely fashion and complete the entire course. Antibiotics can be harsh on the system, so you will need to take the medication with meals or include a glass of milk when taking the pills.
Another tool that we will give you to fight infection is a medicated rinse. This oral rinse helps to fight infection by keeping the site clean and disinfected. You can also combine this with salt rinses, another home remedy for disinfection. Rinsing three or four times per day can help fight an infection before it begins. You will want to start your normal oral health routine the night after the surgery, but should avoid brushing the dental implant, until the stitches are removed. This makes using the rinse more important since it is the only way to clean the surgical site.  We may want you to return for a follow-up appointment to ensure that you are healing properly and if so you will be able to eat all of your favorite foods and brush like normal.

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