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Don’t Make These Mistakes With Your Dental Implants

dental implant problems

A healthy smile is a powerful thing. Research shows that a stunning smile can make you appear thinner, enhance your mood, and even predict a successful marriage or your total lifespan.

With benefits like these, it’s no wonder many patients consider enhancing their smile with dental implants. These implants are a great way to improve your health and smile, among other benefits—but only if you don’t make any mistakes during the recovery period! If you’re worried about dental implant problems following your procedure, here are a few things to avoid.

Choosing an Inexperienced Dentist

One of the most important steps to avoiding problems after dental implants is to ensure you’re working with a qualified professional in your area.

Dental implant procedures can be complex, and inexperienced dentists may make simple missteps that can affect your health. For example, if your dentist inserts your implants in the wrong position, the metal post may not bond to your jawbone, leading to future issues.

On the other hand, a good dentist will be able to help you find the best type of implant for your procedure—and they’ll have plenty of experience handling the procedure itself. If you’re concerned about your implants, be sure to ask about your provider’s experience before you schedule your surgery.

Failing to Communicate Your Medical History

Most people are good candidates for dental implant surgery. Even if you’ve lost several teeth or lack bone structure in your jaw, a dentist can usually adapt the procedure to work for you.

However, certain people are at risk for poor outcomes. If your medical history involves any of the following concerns, you should let your dentist know as soon as possible:

  • Uncontrolled diabetes
  • Uncontrolled gum disease
  • Smoking
  • Alcoholism
  • Cancer
  • Radiation to the jawbone
  • Suppressed immune system from medications

Having one or more of these concerns doesn’t necessarily disqualify you from getting implants. However, your dentist will have to factor these into the procedure. Make sure to disclose all of these issues during your initial evaluation to avoid dental implants problems.

Failing to Practice Good Oral Hygiene

After your procedure, your dentist will leave you with specific post-treatment hygiene instructions. These will involve your normal oral hygiene habits, including brushing your teeth twice daily and flossing once a day, though you may want to be gentle in the first few days.

Your dentist will also instruct you not to rinse your mouth for the first day or two. Once your implants have had time to heal, you should use a gentle saltwater solution after eating to rinse.

Failing to follow through with these basic habits can help keep your mouth free of bacteria during the healing process, so don’t be tempted to skip your normal routine!

Falling Into Bad Oral Health Habits

Certain oral health habits can affect your overall health, even when you aren’t recovering from surgery.

For example, nail-biting can put pressure on your sutures and implant. Chewing on ice, which is a damaging habit in general, should be avoided as well. If you tend to smoke, you should prepare to avoid doing so for at least a week after your procedure.

Making sure to avoid these common bad oral health habits can keep you free of post-dental implant problems in the future.

Eating the Wrong Foods

Your dentist will let you know which foods you should and shouldn’t eat after a procedure. In most cases, this will mean eating soft foods after your surgery, like milkshakes, applesauce, soup, or mashed potatoes. You should also make an effort to chew your food away from the surgery site.

Once the numbness wears off, you can eat slightly firmer foods, like pasta, pancakes, or cooked vegetables. Following your dentist’s instructions, you can work your way back up to solid foods.

At this time, it’s critical to follow your dentist’s post-treatment care instructions, even if that means avoiding some of your favorite treats for the time being.

It may be tempting to assume that you’re a quick healer, meaning that you can resume eating the foods you enjoy. However, doing this can lead to discomfort, swelling, and even total failure in some cases—so be sure to stick with your post-op diet plan!

Jumping Back Into Sports and Exercise

Most patients are keen to avoid exercise in the days after surgery, as the pain and swelling can make activity a chore. Of course, many of our patients who enjoy sports and exercise are often in a hurry to resume their favorite activities.

However, it’s important to follow your dentist’s advice rather than jumping back into your active lifestyle. Injury and trauma are big risks, as your sutures will be vulnerable to damage in the first few days following your procedure.

You can work with your dentist to understand when it’s safe to resume certain activities. Low-impact exercise, like walking and yoga, is safer than more active activities like jogging or tennis. Contact sports like football or soccer may require additional time for healing, so let yourself ease back into these activities slowly.

Not Reporting Dental Implant Problems Right Away

You should expect to feel minimal pain and discomfort after your implant procedure. This can include bleeding and swelling, especially in the hours after your surgery. You may notice red saliva when cleaning your teeth.

These issues should resolve themselves within a few days.

However, if you continue to experience pain or bleeding, don’t wait for the issue to go away! You should reach out to your dentist as soon as possible for additional instructions.

In some cases, even minor issues like sinus infections can cause problems with your implants. In addition, certain patients can develop an allergic reaction to the metals used in the implant. No matter what you’re experiencing, it’s worth having a professional take a look—even when you’re noticing dental implant problems years later.

Trust Our Team for Your Dental Implants

If you’re concerned about the outcome of your dental implant procedure, trust our team to guide you through the recovery period. We’ll help you understand what to expect, explain how to avoid dental implant problems, provide helpful post-op recovery instructions, and ensure that you have a healthier smile when all is said and done.

With a wealth of experience serving clients in St. Louis, Central West End, Clayton, and Des Peres, we’re ready to help you get the right dental implants for the perfect smile. Contact us today!

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