Caring for your Dental Implants

Restoring a missing tooth with dental implants can be a very successful way to improve both the appearance and function of your mouth. This treatment is most effective, however, if you follow the correct steps for caring for them afterwards.

What does the procedure involve?
Surgery is necessary to place the dental implant into your jaw. It is secured with an anchor into your jawbone, and then a dental crown is attached to the top of the implant. Eventually, it will attach to your jaw and look and feel like one of your natural teeth.

What should I expect after surgery?
You may experience some swelling, bruising, slight bleeding, and minor discomfort after implant surgery. Follow the care instructions from your oral surgeon, and take any prescriptions as directed to avoid infection and manage pain as needed. Make sure you adhere to the diet recommended by your doctor, because you may need to eat soft foods initially after receiving implants. This will likely be more comfortable for your tender mouth, as well as not risk damage to your newly placed implants.

What about long-term care?
Once your implants have healed, follow the same dental care routine as you did before. Brush your teeth twice daily, and floss every day. Some patients prefer to use a special toothbrush called an interdental brush, which promotes access to every angle of your teeth. Visit your dentist regularly to maintain good oral health.


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Problems with your Dentures

If you have chosen dentures to restore the function and appearance of your mouth, you certainly want them to do their job. Typically, if fitted correctly and you follow the instructions for use and care, dentures are a good solution. However, it’s possible for problems to arise so it’s important to recognize issues and how to handle them.

One key thing about dentures is that they must fit properly. If not, problems like gum irritation, difficulty eating and speaking, mouth infections, and denture movement may occur. Also, if you don’t keep your mouth clean and healthy, problems will likely appear.

If you experience any issues with your mouth after getting dentures, see your dentist right away. It’s possible that over time, your bones and gums can change and alter the fit of your dentures. When this happens, your dentist must determine if modification, adjustment, or replacement is needed. Never try to adjust your dentures yourself.

Here are some things you can do at home to keep your dentures in good condition:
•    Handle them carefully. When holding your dentures, place a towel on the counter or stand over a water-filled sink. This will protect them if you drop them.
•    Keep dentures out of reach of children and pets.
•    Do not sleep with your dentures in your mouth.
•    Clean them daily according to your dentist’s instructions. This includes soaking them overnight in a denture cleanser, cleaning them well each morning before wearing them, and cleaning your mouth carefully before inserting the dentures. Use a soft brush or one designed for dentures, plain soap or cleanser recommended by your dentist, and warm water. Never use bleach or household cleansers.
•    Store your dentures in warm water or denture cleaning solution. Do not use hot water, which can cause them to lose their shape.
•    Do not use toothpicks because they can damage dentures.

Wearing dentures may be tricky at first, and it may take some time to grow accustomed to them. However, if you care for them well and see your dentist for routine checkups, you can avoid most of the problems that denture-wearers sometimes encounter.


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