Dental implants secure a wide range of dental restorations to rebuild the smile and preserve the structure of the jaw. They are a popular option for patients who require dental bridge treatment because implant-supported bridges look, feel, and function just like the natural teeth.
Implant-supported bridges are easy to care for, extremely stable, and will not shift or slip out of place. However, implant-supported bridges are susceptible to damage, especially in the days immediately following implant surgery.
Here, our Harrisonburg, VA, patients can learn implant-supported bridge aftercare tips that will help them protect their restoration following treatment at Smiles for Life Dental Care.
Caring for Your Temporary Bridge
Dental implant treatment takes place in several stages. After the first stage of treatment, which is the oral surgery procedure to place implants, patients will be sent home with a temporary dental bridge. This bridge will not be as strong or secure as the patient’s permanent restoration, so it is important that it is cared for properly. To protect this restoration until the permanent bridge is placed, our Harrisonburg patients should:
- Adhere to all provided diet restrictions, which is likely to include a soft food diet for the first two weeks of surgical recovery
- Avoid eating hard, crunchy, sticky, or chewy foods while the temporary bridge is in place
- Continue to brush regularly, but be gentle when cleaning around the bridge
- When flossing around the temporary bridge, carefully slide the floss from between the teeth, rather than pulling up
- If sensitivity is an issue, choose a toothpaste formulated for sensitive teeth
In addition to caring for the temporary bridge so that it does not become damaged, dental implant patients should practice aftercare tips that will encourage healing following implant surgery. It is vital that the gums and jaw heal properly, and that the implants fuse with the tissues of the jawbone as recovery takes place. These aftercare practices can encourage healing and promote the success of dental implant treatment:
- Protect the treatment site from excess force or pressure
- Keep surgical incisions clean and free of food particles
- Take any prescribed antibiotics exactly as directed
- Refrain from smoking until recovery is complete
Long-term Care Tips
When dental implant recovery is complete and the permanent dental bridge has been placed, oral care becomes much easier. An implant-supported bridge is so secure that it can be cared for just like the natural teeth. However, a dental bridge can also be damaged by anything that would damage the natural teeth.
To protect the natural teeth and implant-supported bridge, our Harrisonburg patients should practice these long-term care tips:
- Brush and floss regularly
- Brush with a soft-bristled tooth brush and a minimally abrasive toothpaste
- Schedule dental exams and cleanings at least twice a year
- Avoid harmful dental habits, such as chewing on ice, biting non-food objects, and grinding and clenching
An implant-supported bridge can address tooth loss to strengthen your smile and enhance its beauty. If you would like more information about dental bridge treatment or the recovery process, send us a message at your earliest convenience. You can also schedule an appointment with one of the experienced dentists at Smiles for Life Dental Care by calling (540) 828-2312.