If you have decided to undergo dental implant placement at our Rockville, MD, dental clinic, you will need to better understand the recovery process and the steps needed for proper dental implant aftercare. With proper care and good oral hygiene habits, dental implants have a success rate of up to 98 percent. The posts can be retained for a lifetime.
With over 30 years of professional experience, Dr. Victor Siegel strives to ensure the success of every patient. He will walk you through what to expect so that you are fully prepared to care for your smile.
What to Expect in the Days After Surgery
Immediately after surgery, you may feel groggy as the effects of oral conscious sedation wear off. Many patients also report discomfort, soreness, and swelling near the surgical site during the first day or two after surgery. However, over-the-counter or prescription pain medication can help manage these symptoms. Dr. Siegel will provide you with personalized recovery instructions before you return home.
After the procedure, you should rest for the remainder of the day. An ice pack or cold compress can alleviate some of the initial swelling and discomfort. Dr. Siegel may also advise that you take antibiotics and use an antiseptic mouthwash to prevent infection. Most patients are able to return to work after a few days.
While your incisions heal, you should take care when brushing. A soft-bristled toothbrush will be less likely to irritate the surgical site. During the first week or two after surgery, take extra care to ensure that your mouth is clean and free from food particles. Your stitches may be removed after one or two weeks.
How to Ensure Healthy, Successful Osseointegration
Essential to the success of your implants is osseointegration or the natural fusing of your jawbone with the posts. After your implant is placed, this process can take anywhere from four to six months.
If it does not, your implants may fail. Tobacco use and infections are two leading causes of implant failure.
Patients who regularly use tobacco products are not only at an increased risk of infection, but also have a much less dense jawbone. As a result, Dr. Siegel may recommend that you cease smoking throughout the recovery process.
The risk of infection during the first weeks of recovery can be minimized by carefully taking antibiotics throughout recovery. Using mouthwash and maintaining good oral hygiene can further lower this risk. If you notice bleeding or the sudden onset of pain after the first few days following surgery, let Dr. Siegel know immediately.
Long-Term Care for Dental Implants
Your implant may be constructed from surgical-grade titanium, but the jawbone and gum tissue surrounding it are still vulnerable to decay and disease. However, in most cases you can care for your implants the same way you do your natural teeth: with daily brushing and flossing, as well as regular dental cleanings.
Make Sure Your Results Last
Many of our patients have come to know the life-changing benefits of dental implants. Our clinic gladly accepts CareCredit® financing and offers interest-free payment plans. To schedule a dental implant consultation, contact our office online or call (301) 963-4330.