Getting an infection after dental implant surgery is rare, but it can happen, especially if you don’t follow the recovery instructions. When an implant gets infected, it can fail, meaning that it will need to be removed and replaced, which is both costly and time-consuming. We urge all patients to keep in mind the following tips to help reduce their risk of infection after getting their dental implants to avoid this scenario.
Keep the Mouth Clean
The number one way to prevent infection is to keep the mouth as clean as possible. Because you will not be able to brush like usual, we encourage you to gently rinse with salt water a few times a day. You can still brush the parts of your mouth that were not involved in the surgery. Keeping the mouth clean prevents bacteria from spreading into the wound.
Our surgeons should have already discussed this with you during your consultation, but it is imperative to continue avoiding smoking during recovery. Not only does tobacco smoke introduce several bacteria into the mouth, but it can also interfere with the body’s ability to heal. The longer a wound takes to heal, the greater the chance of infection.
Eat Mushy Foods
You should avoid eating anything that will disturb the implant area, which means that soft, mushy foods should be on the menu. Anything crunchy or hard, like nuts, raw vegetables, or chips, is forbidden. Instead, you should stick to smoothies, mashed potatoes, soups, and whatever else will not irritate your incision. Try to stick to foods that offer a high nutritional value at a time when the body needs as many vitamins and minerals as possible.
Rest as Much as Possible
While you may feel pretty good the day after the surgery, that does not mean your body is completely healed. Beneath the surface, the jawbone and gums are working to repair themselves. Taking it easy and avoiding strenuous activities gives the body more time to work and heal.
Contact Our Office at the First Signs of Infection
If you suspect you may have an infection, it is important to see Dr. Price or Dr. Lillian right away. He can confirm if an infection is present and prescribe antibiotics to help stop it from spreading. Signs of an infection to be on the lookout for include:
- Bleeding that continues 24 hours after the procedure.
- Severe swelling in the treatment area.
- Extreme pain that cannot be controlled with medication.
- Sudden fever.
Even if you are already taking antibiotics as a preventative measure before your dental implants, it is still important to let your surgeon know that they may have an infection. Our surgeons may be able to prescribe a strong antibiotic so that the situation does not get too out of hand.
To learn more about dental implants and see if you are a candidate, call our office at (801) 446-4428.