Rockport Dental Instructions
Dental Implants: Consultation, Procedure, Recovery and Aftercare
To determine if implants are right for you, a consultation with your dentist, oral surgeon, and/or periodontist or prosthodontist is needed. During this appointment, your dental professional will thoroughly examine your teeth and gums and evaluate bone density and quantity. This may involve X-rays and computer tomography scans (CT scans) to ensure there is sufficient bone structure for placing the implant(s), and to determine exactly where the implant should be placed.
Based on the condition of your oral tissues, oral hygiene and personal habits, and commitment to follow aftercare instructions, your dentist will advise you of the most appropriate dental implant treatment plan. Some patients with insufficient bone or gum tissue require bone or soft tissue grafts and/or the use of small diameter implants (also called mini implants).
Today's dental implant restorations are virtually indistinguishable from other teeth. This appearance is aided in part by the structural and functional connection between the dental implant and the living bone. Implants are typically placed in a single sitting but require a period of osseointegration.
Osseointegration is the process by which the dental implant anchors to the jaw bone. Osseointegrated implants are the most commonly used and successful type of dental implant. An osseointegrated implant takes anywhere from three to six months to anchor and heal, at which point your dentist can complete the procedure by placing a crown restoration. If osseointegration does not occur, the implant will fail.
Dental implantation, which is performed to replace missing teeth, can be done any time after adolescence or when bone growth is complete. Certain medical conditions, such as active diabetes, cancer or periodontal disease, may require additional treatment before the implant procedure can be performed.
Dental implant recovery depends on a number of factors, one of which includes the various procedures required to complete your treatment. However, it is generally recognized that once an implant has been placed, maintaining diligent oral hygiene habits is required to ensure proper fusing of the implant and bone structure. If cared for properly, an implant restoration can remain in place for more than 40 years.
After the initial surgical procedure, discomfort should be minimal. Swelling of your gums and face may occur, as well as minor bleeding and bruising of the implant site. Prescription pain medications may be prescribed by your dentist to relieve any pain or discomfort you feel after the procedure.
For five to seven days after surgery, your diet should be restricted to soft foods. If stitches are present, they may need to be removed by your dentist; however, self-dissolving stitches that do not require removal are typically used.
If provisional restorations were placed along with the dental implant, it will be important to clean them as you would your natural teeth to ensure the best possible healing and fusing of the implant.
Failure to floss and brush is a leading cause of implant failure, and infection can occur if the implant and surrounding areas are not cleaned properly. Smoking also is attributed to high failure rates with dental implants and should be avoided following implant procedures.
Immediate dentures are dentures that are placed in your mouth right after your teeth are extracted. The shape of your mouth changes quickly for about a month. As the healing process continues, your gums, which support the denture will shrink. Changes can continue for several months. During this time, it is important that you keep your dentist office appointments for adjustments. Following are tips to help you adjust to and take care of your immediate denture.
Day 1. Keep your head up. Take your medication and rest. Put gentle biting pressure on your denture during the first four hours. Use cold packs to reduce swelling. Eat soft healthy foods such as mashed potatoes, soups, eggs or cottage cheese. Drink cool liquids. Be careful with hot foods. The plastic part of the denture may not allow you to feel hot food in some areas of your mouth. Don’t take out your denture during the first 24 hours! There may be some oozing of blood. The denture acts as a bandage to protect the extraction sites and helps to control bleeding and swelling.
Day 2. The dentist removes your denture and makes any needed adjustments. The dentist shows you how to remove and clean it.
Day 3-4, or until your stitches are removed.
Remove your denture three to four times a day and gently rinse your mouth with warm saltwater (1/2 teaspoon salt in 8 ounces of warm water). Lightly brush your denture at the same time, and then place in your mouth.
A new denture is uncomfortable for the first several weeks. It may feel loose while the muscles of your cheeks and tongue learn to hold it in place. Saliva may increase. You may feel minor irritation or soreness. You may bite your cheeks or tongue as you learn to use your new denture.
Whether this is your first denture or your tenth, you will find that adjusting to your new denture will probably take some time. Everyone hears about a friend or relative who had absolutely no troubles at all with a new denture, never had it adjusted and can eat anything they want. If you ask any dentist, you will find that these people, unfortunately, are in the minority.
A new denture that replaces one you have had for many years may be very difficult to get used to. This is because the mouth and jaws have adapted to the old one and even though it may be ill-fitting you have gotten used to it. This may make it difficult for the gums to adapt and get used to a new proper fitting denture.
When you start to wear your new dentures, you will be conscious of many things about your mouth. It will take 2 to 3 days for the gums to adapt to the different pressures the new dentures place on them. After 2 to three days the dentures will start to feel as though they are “settling in”, and retention and stability will increase. Using adhesives during this “breaking-in” period will make the dentures more comfortable, however use as little as possible during the first 2 to 3 days so the adhesives will not interfere with the denture adapting to the gums. A full lower denture is much more difficult to get used to than an upper and you may need to continue to use adhesives, especially if you have a severely resorted ridge or poor muscle control of your tongue and cheeks.
Your success in wearing your new dentures depends more upon you than any other factor. If you meet the challenge with determination, you will be surprised at the short amount of time it will take to achieve success. Following these helpful hints will help ensure success with your dentures.
- PATIENCE - Learning to wear a denture takes time. Follow the advice of your dentist and don’t become discouraged. Don’t listen to friends who tell you how easy it was for them. Each case is different.
- LOWERS - A lower denture usually takes far longer to master than an upper denture. Your facial muscles and tongue are constantly moving the denture. Take your time and don’t worry if your tongue feels strange or restricted. It will soon accustom itself to the new position.
- EATING - Don’t take large bites at first. Cut all food into small portions. Attempt to chew evenly on both sides to “balance” the denture. Do not bite into food directly with the front teeth, bite off to the side to help stabilize the denture. Slice very hard foods like apples and corn on the cob first to help preserve your natural ridge.
- SPEECH - If you have a tendency to slur your words, or your speech seems difficult, practice reading aloud or speaking in front of a mirror. Counting out loud will help the tongue retrain itself, especially the thirties, fifties and sixties. It may take several weeks for your speech to return to normal.
- CLEANING - An unclean denture is unhealthy, unattractive and uncomfortable. Your denture will form plaque and tarter just like natural teeth. It is healthier to remove your denture at night (keep them in water or a soaking solution). Never use household cleaners on your dentures.
- ADHESIVES - In the best case scenario, with proper ridge form, muscle control and fit of denture, a satisfactory result may be obtained without the use of any adhesives. This may be true for many people, however, others find it more comfortable or necessary to use small amounts of adhesive
- SORE SPOTS - If you experience some sore spots with your new denture we will need to adjust them here at our office. The fee quoted you includes up to five adjustments at no additional charge to you for up to three months after delivery of your denture.
- TISSUE CHANGE - Your gum tissue changes daily; your denture does not. It is important to visit our office regularly for a denture checkup. Periodically, you denture may need a reline. An ill-fitting denture may be harmful to your health. If you have an Immediate Denture it may be necessary to have it relined after you are totally healed from surgery..
I hope this will help make your transition to dentures more tolerable please do not hesitate to call with any questions.
- To help control bleeding use gauze provided. Fold gauze into a square of thirds and place over extraction site. Bite on gauze with moderate pressure. Change gauze every 15 minutes or as needed, usually 3-4 changes are needed before a clot is formed. Some spotting or oozing is normal for up to 24 hours.
- Avoid rinsing, spitting or anything that will disturb the clot for 24 hours.
- It is imperative not to smoke for at least 48 hours after oral surgery.
- Avoid hot liquids and do not drink from a straw for 24 hours. Choose soft easy to swallow foods
- To control swelling ice packs can be used for 20 minutes on and 10 minutes off during the first 8 hours after surgery.
- When lying down keep your head elevated.
- Some soreness should be expected after the anesthetic wears off. Take your prescribed pain medication or Ibuprofen as needed. Be sure to finish all antibiotic medication as directed. Do not drink alcohol with any prescribed medication. If you are experiencing extreme pain call our office.
- If you develop a rash or excessive itching stop taking your medication and call our office immediately.
- If sutures were placed they are resorbing and do not need to be removed.
- You may brush your teeth but avoid the extraction site for 48 hours.
- Please call with any questions or problems (361)729-3737.
Long-term success of implants depends on how well they are maintained. Regular dental visits are essential. We will develop a dental visit program to ensure the health of your implants and remaining natural teeth.
Periodontal disease can strike when teeth and gums are not properly cleaned. If left untreated bone loss, which weakens supporting structures, can lead to loss of dental implants.
Home Care: Daily brushing and flossing are absolutely necessary for long-term success. There are also many supplemental products that allow you to clean the implants properly.
Brushing: We recommend a cordless electric Sonic-Care toothbrush..
Flossing: Good home care includes daily flossing. Floss threaders are very helpful in allowing you to reach around implants, under bridges and bars so these areas can be easily cleaned.
Inter proximal Brushes: These small dental brushes, also called “Proxy Brushes”, are specifically designed to clean between the teeth and implants. While not a replacement for dental floss they are helpful in cleaning hard to reach areas.
Oral Irrigation Systems: Research has shown that oral irrigation is effective in reducing plaque accumulation around dental implants and natural teeth. Your dentist may also suggest that you use a special mouth rinse.
Dental Visits: It is typically recommended that patients visit their dentist for professional cleanings every 3-6 months.
Smoking: Smoking destroys collagen that is necessary to retain dental implants. If you can’t quit it is imperative that you take the following supplements for as long as you continue to smoke: 1500mg of Vitamin C, 400mg Calcium and 10mg Magnesium daily. These supplements will promote collagen production.
Please read these instructions carefully
An implant placement is a surgical procedure. Therefore, it is natural that temporary changes will occur in the mouth afterward. You will be functioning normally within a few days. In the meantime, you should follow a few simple guidelines to help promote healing, prevent complications, and make yourself more comfortable.
We have placed a gauze pack on the surgical site(s) to limit bleeding while clotting takes place. The gauze packs should be left in place for 30 to 40 minutes after you have left the office. Bite down firmly on the gauze, making sure they remain in place. Continue to change the gauze packs every 30-40 minutes until the gauze is half white/half red or pink. If you become hungry or thirsty, remove the gauze while eating or drinking and replace it when you are finished. To replace gauze, fold a clean piece into a pad thick enough to bite on. Dampen the pad and place it directly on the surgical site. Bleeding should never be severe. If it is, it usually means the gauze is being clenched between the teeth rather than exerting pressure on the surgical areas. Try repositioning fresh packs or a moistened tea bag may be substituted for the gauze pad if bleeding persists. If bleeding remains uncontrolled, please call our office.
Often there is some swelling associated with oral surgery. You can help minimize this by applying cold compresses or an ice bag to your face or cheek adjacent to the surgical area. This should be applied twenty minutes on and twenty minutes off for the first 24 hours after your surgery.
After an implant placement, a blood clot forms in the surgical area. This is an important part of the normal healing process. You should therefore avoid activities that might disturb the surgical area. Do not rinse your mouth vigorously or probe the area with any objects or your fingers. Do not smoke or drink through a straw for 72 hours following your surgery. These activities create suction in the mouth, which could dislodge the clot and delay healing. If you do not care for the taste in your mouth, drink some fluids or use a wet washcloth and wipe your tongue, but please stay away from the surgical area. Avoid strenuous activity for the first 24 hours after your procedure. This will reduce bleeding and help the blood clot to form.
After your surgery, you will want to eat nourishing food that can be eaten comfortably. Temperature of the food does not matter, but avoid extremely hot foods and liquid. Avoid foods such as nuts, popcorn, rice, sesame seeds, etc. This type of small food may get lodged in the surgical area. Over the next several days you can progress to solid foods at your own pace. If you are diabetic, maintain your normal eating habits as much as possible and follow instructions from our office or your physician regarding your insulin schedule.
Unfortunately most oral surgery is accompanied by some degree of discomfort. You may be prescribed medication to control discomfort and should take your first pill before the anesthetic has worn off, this will better allow you to manage any discomfort. Although medicine for discomfort may be prescribed, it may not always be needed. You may substitute for over-the-counter Advil, Motrin or whatever you use for a headache. The length of time you experience numbness varies, depending on the type of anesthetic you have received. While your mouth is numb you’All want to be careful not to bite on your cheek, lip or tongue. The numbness should subside within a few hours.
Nausea is not an uncommon event after surgery, and is sometimes caused by stronger medications for discomfort. Nausea may be reduced by preceding each pill with a small amount of soft food, then taking the pill with a large amount of water. Staying in a reclined position also seems to settle the stomach. You may also have been prescribed a medication for nausea, which should be taken as directed.
Instructions for the second and third days
Keeping your mouth clean after surgery is essential. The day following your surgery, gently rinse your mouth with warm salt water (half a tsp. of salt in an 8oz. glass of warm water). Place the solution in your mouth and gently rotate your head from side to side. Please do not swish. After the second day, you can gradually become more aggressive. Repeat as often as you like, but at least three to four times a day. You may be prescribed a mouth rinse for you, which should be used as directed in addition to the salt-water rinses. Other over-the-counter mouth rinses and mouthwashes should be avoided during this early period..
Begin your normal oral hygiene routine as soon as possible after surgery. Soreness and swelling may not permit vigorous brushing of all areas, but please make every effort to clean your teeth within the bounds of comfort.
IF YOU HAVE ANY PROBLEMS OR CONCERNS, DR. SCHULTZ CAN BE REACHED 24 HOURS A DAY, BY CALLING OUR OFFICE (361) 729-3737 OR OUR AFTER HOURS EMERGENCY NUMBER (713) 614-4165, LEAVING A MESSAGE INCLUDING YOUR NAME AND PHONE NUMBER.