If you know much about dental implants, you likely already know that getting them is a multi-part process. After the implant itself is put in place, some time will need to pass before your gums and bones heal enough that the implant can support a crown being mounted on top of it. During this time, you'll need to take special care of your oral health to ensure that your implant heals up properly. Here's what you can expect.
One of the first things your dentist is likely to tell you is to not use a straw or to swish fluid in your mouth while you're in the first couple days of recovery. This is because you're likely to have a small blood clot that's acting as a scab over the incision area that could become dislodged if you swish or use a straw. The pressure is actually enough to cause this. While it's not the end of the world if that clot scab becomes dislodged, it can slow down your healing process and start the bleeding all over again, so make sure to follow your dentist's advice.
Interdental brushes are typically used between teeth and for braces, but they can be really handy for cleaning around a dental implant, too.
When your implant is in place, you'll see a small metal nub sticking up from your gums. This is the top of the implant where the artificial tooth will eventually be mounted. You need to keep this area clean, because food can get stuck around the metal nub and potentially infect your gums while they're still healing.
Interdental brushes excel at cleaning around the implant. They're thin and long, but also flexible, so you can dab around the edges of the implant and dislodge any food that might be stuck there more effectively than you can with a toothbrush.
Dab for Discomfort
Last but not least, you'll likely be given pain medication to control any discomfort you might be experiencing once you get home. However, if you're still having problems, you can definitely use a topical oral solution for it. Simply use a numbing gel like Orajel that's designed for use in the mouth to numb the surface of your gums to provide yourself with more comfort. This is a great step to follow if you forget to take your medication, as pain pills can take a while to kick in but numbing gels are instantaneous.
For more information about how to care for dental implants before the crown is mounted, talk to your dentist.