Without question, dental implants provide outstanding benefits after tooth loss that you simply can’t get from traditional bridges and dentures. And, like all dental work, they’re an investment that you want to last as long as possible! Though implants have an impressive long-term success rate of over 95%, infection is one possible cause for failure that’s best avoided. Keep reading below to learn about preventing dental implant infections in Fort Worth and which symptoms to watch for. With these easy tips, you’ll have an even higher chance of enjoying your implants for life.
Tips For Preventing Dental Implant Infections
Any type of surgery always carries some risk of infection, and implant surgery is no exception. Use the following tips to reduce that risk in the short-term and long-term:
- Closely follow any post-op instructions from your dentist after your procedure.
- You must keep the area clean by brushing at least twice a day and flossing once, but do so gently and carefully. Rinsing twice a day is also helpful and can be done with either salt water (about a ¼ teaspoon dissolved in an 8oz glass of water) or an antiseptic mouthwash.
- During the first couple of weeks, eat soft foods such as smoothies, oatmeal, soups, guacamole, cottage cheese, yogurt, bananas, mashed potatoes, etc. Avoid hard, crunchy foods during this period or carefully chew them on the opposite side.
- If you use tobacco, talk to a dentist or doctor about help with quitting. The success rate in smokers is only 85%, compared to over 95% in non-smokers.
- For ongoing prevention and implant maintenance, schedule regular checkups and cleanings and continue brushing and flossing at home. The cleaner you keep everything, the fewer problems you’ll have.
Signs and Symptoms of Dental Implant Infections
While infections are fairly rare, it’s important to be aware of the signs and symptoms. If you notice any issues, contact your dentist right away. It’s easier for them to successfully treat an infection early on rather than waiting until it’s progressed. They may recommend a professional cleaning, antibiotics, a prescription-strength mouth rinse, or surgery. The earlier an infection is found, the better chance you’ll have of preventing your implant from failing.
Here are some common indications of infection around dental implants in Fort Worth:
- Persistent or worsening pain around your implant
- Discomfort when chewing
- Gum recession around an implant
- Inflammation such as red, tender, swollen or bleeding gums
- A loose or mobile implant
For many patients, dental implants are the preferred choice for tooth replacement. By caring for them properly and having early signs of infection looked at right away, you’ll have a great chance of enjoying your new smile for a lifetime.
About the Author
Dr. David Tillman is an award-winning general and implant dentist in Fort Worth with nearly 30 years of experience. He has advanced training to provide implant dentistry from start to finish and always gives his patients tips to help them maintain their implants over the long-term. If you’d like to know more about preventing dental implant infections or have any questions, he can be reached via his website.