What You Need to Do After the First Stage of a Dental Implant
Dental implants are a remarkable way to replace missing teeth, but it's important to remember that the process is not immediate. The actual implant is a small screw, generally made of titanium (due to the material's biocompatible nature). This screw is implanted into your jaw bone, and then a process known as osseointegration takes place. This is when your jaw bone essentially fuses to the titanium screw to secure it into place. The length of the process varies from patient to patient, but only when sufficient osseointegration has occurred will the implant be topped with a metal abutment, which is then finished with a specially fabricated prosthetic tooth. After the first step of your dental implant procedure, you will be left with a small piece of metal protruding from your gums. It's different for everyone, and sometimes the screw will not in fact be visible. Immediately after the first step of the implant process you will need to learn how to care for your teeth in addition to the site of the implant. So what do you need to know?
Applying Light Pressure
There might be some bleeding after the implant has been inserted. Your dentist can provide you with some gauze (or you can easily obtain some from any pharmacy). You need to place this gauze over the site of the implant and bit down gently. Gently is the key word here, since applying too much pressure can impede the healing process. The blood flow will gradually reduce, although this can be difficult to gauge since the blood will be mixed your saliva (making it seem like there is more blood than there actually is).
Careful with the Clot
You want to do everything you can to encourage clotting around the site of the extraction. Any type of sucking motion can dislodge the newly-formed clot, so please refrain from smoking. You should also avoid drinking anything using a straw. The clot around the site of the extraction needs to contend with the moisture in your mouth, meaning that it can be more delicate and slower to harden than a clot that forms on an external injury.
Take It Easy
While you do not quite want to restrict your blood flow, you should avoid exercise or strenuous household tasks for several days after the first stage of the implant procedure. Too much physical activity can impede the healing process, and you want to discourage the excess blood flow that can occur with exercise or strenuous activities. So really, you just need to take it easy.
You can brush your teeth as usual, although you might wish to change to a soft toothbrush. Avoid the site of the extraction and do not use a mouthwash as this will cause extreme irritation. You can rinse your mouth with a teaspoon of salt dissolved into a cup of warm water. Do not swirl this liquid in your mouth too vigorously as this can also dislodge the clotting around the site of the extraction.
By taking care of your mouth after the first step of a dental implant, you can help the healing process which is necessary before the next stage of the implant process can take place.