What to do after Dental Implants

after dental implantApex, Raleigh, NC

So you just got dental implants — now what?

Dental implants are so similar to natural teeth that they require little more care than the real things! Due in part to their striking similarities, dental implants have become a wildly popular, gold-standard, permanent restoration option to replace a missing tooth, multiple teeth or a tooth that needs to be extracted.

Since dental implants consist of a multi-part process that could take several visits over as many months, it only makes sense that an implant patient wants to know all about the aftercare. How can you best protect your investment to enjoy your bright, white teeth for years to come?

To fully understand the ease of caring for your new dental implants, our periodontists in Raleigh believe it’s best to know exactly how implants are designed to work.

How do implants work?

During the dental implant process, our skilled periodontists in Cary first prepare the gums and jawbone for implant surgery to make sure the foundation for dental implants is solid. Our periodontists will then drill small holes in the gum and through the bone to make way for an abutment — a small titanium post that the jawbone eventually accepts and fuses around in a process called osseointegration. This process stimulates the jawbone, just like natural teeth do, and eventually, the abutment becomes an artificial tooth “root” of sorts. A customized dental crown is then fabricated to fit onto the abutment, and that crown matches the surrounding teeth in both appearance and function.

Dental implants have a 98 percent, long-term success rate that depends largely on patients taking care of the implants. So what do you do after implant surgery? How do you take care of your new, beautiful teeth and smile? It’s not as hard as you may think! Our Apex periodontists share the following tips to increase the odds of enjoying lifelong success with your implants:

Visit the dentist

Dental implants are known to be remarkably similar to natural teeth, benefitting from professional cleanings every bit as much. Gum health with implants is of utmost importance. The buildup of plaque and tartar on gums could lead to implant infection so it’s imperative that implant patients keep their dental appointments twice a year.

Brush and floss

The same strong oral hygiene practices that are necessary for natural teeth are also crucial for dental implants. Brush your teeth at least twice a day, and floss once daily. Many implant patients also opt for an oral irrigator, also called a water flosser, that helps dislodge leftover food particles from the gums and around implants.


Rinsing with mouthwash can also help remove bacteria, plaque and tartar from the teeth, reducing the risk of implant infection.

Stop smoking

Tobacco products can wreak havoc on gums and teeth. Our dentists will urge prospective implant patients to stop smoking, in particular, before and immediately after implant surgery because smoking slows the body’s healing process and will subsequently slow recovery. But all tobacco products should be avoided.

Watch your diet

One reason dental implants are so popular is because the teeth look and function like natural teeth. This means that almost all your favorite foods and beverages can still be enjoyed. Our dentists discourage, however, eating hard food and sticky candies like taffy and consuming boiling-hot beverages and — on the other end of the spectrum — chewing ice.

Dental Implant Post-op Care in Cary, Apex, and Raleigh, North Carolina

When we’ve finished with your dental implant process, our periodontists at Triangle Periodontics will send you home with helpful aftercare instructions. But for the most part, you’ll care for your implants the same way you would care for natural teeth: by frequently brushing and flossing, protecting your investment from potentially harmful foods and tobacco products and making sure to visit your dentist for professional cleanings twice a year.

Are you interested in finding out if you are a candidate for dental implants? Do you already have implants and need to schedule your dental visit? We want to hear from you! Schedule a consultation with our Raleigh periodontists at Triangle Periodontics by calling (919) 782-9536, or reaching us online today!