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A Comprehensive Guide to Dental Implant Care and Maintenance

This comprehensive guide will walk you through how to care for and maintain dental implants properly. From post-surgery care to long-term methods, we will give you helpful tips to keep your dental implant in optimal condition. So, keep reading and learn how to properly care for your dental implant.
Admire Dental Butler
Dr. Karthik Lakkaraju
April 12, 2023

Taking care of dental implants is one vital aspect of keeping them long-lasting. Whether you have recently had them or are considering getting one, it is essential to understand the importance of post-surgery and long-term dental implant care. By practising the right care strategies, incorporating good lifestyle choices, and dietary changes, you can achieve optimal treatment results and maintain a healthy smile for many years. Otherwise, dental implants may not heal properly and lead to serious complications.

This comprehensive guide will walk you through how to care for and maintain dental implants properly. From post-surgery care to long-term methods, we will give you helpful tips to keep your dental implant in optimal condition. So, keep reading and learn how to properly care for your dental implant.

Understanding Dental Implants

A dental implant is designed to be an artificial tooth root to support a dental crown, dentures, or bridge. It is made from biocompatible materials to allow it to integrate with the jawbone and is less likely to be rejected by the human body. Dental implants require oral surgery to insert them into the jawbone. Because they are embedded underneath the gums, they can provide a strong foundation for the prosthetic tooth and stimulate bone growth.

When compared to other tooth replacement options, such as traditional dental bridges and dentures, dental implants are fixed in the mouth. This makes them less likely to loosen or slip over time. They can also mimic the function of real teeth as they replace natural tooth roots, so they feel and look so natural. People choose dental implants over other dentistry restorative treatments because they can better restore chewing and speaking difficulties. In addition, they prevent facial sagging and enhance the smile appearance.

Dental implants have two main types, such as endosteal and subperiosteal:

  • Endosteal implants are the common type of tooth implant that looks like a screw and is inserted into the jawbone.

  • Subperiosteal implants may be recommended for patients with severe bone loss. Unlike endosteal implants, this type of dental implant is only placed underneath the gum tissue but above the jawbone.

The dentist will determine which type of dental implant is suitable based on factors such as the condition of the patient’s mouth, the quality of bone, and the number of missing teeth.

Post-Surgery Dental Implant Care

Considering the complexity of the dental implant procedure, it is necessary to follow proper post-surgery care to promote optimal healing and lower the risk of infection. The dentist will provide individualised aftercare instructions, including follow-up appointments.

Here are some important tips to keep in mind:

Recommended recovery diet:

  • Take a break from eating hot foods and drinks, as the high temperature can irritate the surgical site.
  • Instead, stick with a soft diet during the first few days following the dental implant surgery. Eat soft fruits and vegetables like mashed potato, avocado, bananas, and applesauce. Patients can also drink fresh smoothies, ice cream, and yoghurt.

Tips for managing post-surgery side effects:

  • Apply an ice pack on the cheeks near the surgical area to reduce swelling and discomfort.
  • Take prescribed pain medications to help manage the pain.
  • Rinsing the mouth with lukewarm salt water can help reduce bacteria in the mouth and alleviate inflammation, which promotes proper healing.
  • Avoid touching the surgical site to prevent irritation and infection.

Take a rest:

  • Do not engage in strenuous activities for the first few days after surgery to prevent prolonged bleeding and swelling.
  • Avoid driving or operating heavy machinery following the dental implant placement, as the anaesthesia may remain in the body system.
  • Do not smoke or use cigarettes and tobacco products, as the chemicals can restrict the blood flow, which can slow down the healing process and increase the risk of complications.

Keeping the surgical area clean:

  • Rinse the mouth thoroughly using an antibacterial mouthwash but avoid vigorous swishing to prevent damaging the surgical wound.
  • Once the dental implants are healed and there is no bleeding, the patient can brush their teeth with gentle strokes. We recommend consulting the dentist when it is allowed to use a toothbrush.

When to contact a dentist:

  • Bleeding does not improve and becomes excessive.
  • Severe pain that does not go away even with pain medications and proper care.
  • If the patient develops a high fever, this can indicate a risk of infection.

Long-Term Dental Implant Care

Once the osseointegration, or the process when the dental implant fuses with the jawbone, has been completed, the long-term maintenance of dental implants begins. This is essential for prolonging the lifespan of artificial teeth. Here are some ways to care for them:

  • Regular Dental Check-Ups
    Dental check-ups allow the dentist to monitor oral health and check the status of dental implants. Any dental problems or signs of complications can be addressed promptly if the patient attends dental visits regularly.

  • Oral Hygiene Habits
    One of the crucial aspects of caring for dental implants is practising good dental hygiene habits. They don’t require certain or high-maintenance care rather than keeping the teeth or mouth clean. It’s important not to skip brushing the teeth twice daily using a soft-bristled toothbrush and non-abrasive toothpaste, particularly around dental implants. The patient can use interdental brushes or gentle floss to reduce debris between teeth and use an antibacterial mouthwash. Practising proper cleaning and brushing techniques can prevent plaque buildup and potential infections.

  • Dietary Consideration
    There are fewer dietary restrictions with dental implants, but we still remind individuals to be careful when eating or chewing foods. It is because excessive pressure on the tooth implant crown can damage them. We also suggest incorporating a balanced diet to help strengthen bone health.

  • Preventing Complications
    Being consistent with dental hygiene is one crucial way to prevent complications. It can reduce the risk of infection and the development of oral diseases that can cause harm to dental implants. It is highly advised to contact the dentist as soon as possible to report any unusual symptoms or changes with fitting false teeth.

    Patients can maintain the longevity and durability of their dental implants by following these long-term care strategies. Remember, a successful and healthy dental implant treatment depends on proper maintenance.

Dental Implant Maintenance Tools and Techniques

There are some dental devices that can be used at home to enhance cleaning techniques for dental implants. However, it is important to remember that regular dental check-ups and professional cleanings are efficient ways to keep the teeth and gums clean. A dental health care provider can use specific tools to reach areas that are difficult to reach with a toothbrush or other tools at home. Also, they can provide personalised advice on how to care for dental implants based on individual needs.

Let’s discuss the dental tools that can be included in an at-home oral hygiene routine:

Soft-bristled toothbrush

We recommend using a soft-bristled toothbrush to clean the teeth and gums around the dental implant. A hard-bristled toothbrush can cause harsh friction and damage the tooth implant and surrounding tissue.

  • How to use it?
    Move the toothbrush around the mouth in small, gentle circular motions. Reach every chewing surface and side of the teeth. Don’t forget to brush the back surface of the teeth.

Electric toothbrush

An electronic-powered toothbrush can be used with care for cleaning dental implants. It can brush the nooks and crevices with more efficient motions, which can help reduce plaque and tartar buildup efficiently.

  • How to use it?
    An electronic brush can be used quite similarly to a regular toothbrush, but the key difference is that a rechargeable battery operates it. Brush each tooth within a few seconds. Patients may set a timer to reach the optimal teeth brushing duration.

Oral irrigator

It is a device that uses pressured water to dislodge the plaque or food particles between teeth and around the gum line. Oral irrigators or water flossers can be useful for cleaning difficult areas in the mouth, such as between natural teeth and dental implants.

  • How to use it?
    Use a water flosser or oral irrigator with a low-pressure setting to prevent excessive pressure that could damage the dental implant or adjacent tissue, then aim at specific areas.


Dental floss is a flexible cord made of nylon or other materials designed to clean the spaces between teeth and remove food particles and plaque. It comes in different types and is essential for maintaining good oral hygiene and preventing dental problems. 

  • How to use it?
    To use dental floss properly, wind a length of floss around your index fingers, gently insert it between the teeth, and slide it back and forth in a sawing motion to remove debris and plaque.

Life Style and Diet Considerations for Dental Implant Care

A healthy diet is also important for the long-term success of dental implants. Eating foods high in bone-strengthening nutrients, protein, and vitamins is essential for enhancing the bone and thus preserving the teeth implants. As we’ve discussed, there are fewer food restrictions when it comes to dental implants than other tooth replacement options. A soft diet is only temporary and necessary to avoid damaging the surgical area after the procedure. But once they are fully healed, patients can enjoy a wide range of foods just like they do with their natural teeth.

Nevertheless, patients must still be careful when eating chewy, hard, or crunchy foods, as they can exert too much pressure on the tooth implant, causing it to loosen and eventually cause failure.

Individuals should also be mindful of activities or lifestyle habits that can put dental implants at risk. These are smoking, alcohol consumption, and engaging in strenuous activities without protection. Wearing dental appliances, such as custom-made mouthguards, is important to absorb strong impacts and protect the teeth.

Dental Implant Complications: Symptoms and Treatments

Dental implants are generally considered efficient and safe when replacing missing teeth. However, complications may occur in some instances, and it is important to recognise the signs and symptoms to receive treatment as soon as possible. Dental implant complications may include tooth implant infection, nerve damage, peri-implantitis, failure of osseointegration, and improper placement of dental implants. Common indications of these complications may involve the following:

  • Swelling, tenderness, or redness around the tooth implant area.
  • Pus or yellowish fluid from the surgical site.
  • Minor bleeding when brushing the teeth.
  • Persistent or uncontrollable bleeding.
  • Severe pain and discomfort in the dental implants or surrounding teeth and gums.
  • Difficulty chewing or biting.
  • Bad breath or an unpleasant taste in the mouth.


If any of these symptoms occur, please get in touch with a dental health care provider immediately. Prompt treatment for dental implant complications can alleviate discomfort and prevent further damage. Treatment options may vary depending on the type and extent of the complication. A simple saltwater oral rinse can reduce swelling and pain. In other cases, more intensive treatment, such as antibiotics, dental implant removal, and surgery, may be necessary.

Risks and complications can be prevented with a consistent dental hygiene routine and the lifestyle adjustments that we’ve mentioned earlier. Also, regular dental check-ups can also help lower the risk and identify any potential issues in the early stage.

Final Thoughts

Practising a dental hygiene routine and adjusting lifestyle habits, such as avoiding smoking, are crucial to keeping dental implants in great condition. Post-surgery care instructions are particularly important to follow to promote the healing of dental implants. At the same time, consistent oral hygiene habits, regular dental check-ups, and cleanings are proper long-term dental implant care methods. Following the tips outlined in this blog, patients can prevent complications, promote healing, and maintain a complete smile in the long run.

At Admire Dental Butler, we understand the value of healthy, long-lasting teeth. Our team of experienced dental professionals is dedicated to providing comprehensive dental implant care and maintenance services to keep your teeth strong. Contact us today or schedule an appointment through our website to learn more about our dental implant services and how we can help you achieve optimal oral health.

dr lakkaraju


Dr. karthik lakkaraju

Dr. Karthik sees joy in his work to transform patients’ smiles through his comprehensive treatment plans. His years of experience have earned him a good reputation for improving oral health.