The Importance of Postoperative Care After Implant Bridge Surgery

implant bridge

If you’ve lost a few teeth and have been looking for a permanent and reliable fix for it, then there’s no better option for you than getting an implant bridge.

The implant bridge is a truly transformative surgical treatment that has the potential to restore your smile without compromising your remaining natural permanent teeth. However, implant bridge surgery is only one (though major) part of your journey toward a healthy smile – the success of your journey also depends on how diligently you practice postoperative care after the surgery. 

In this blog, we’ll tell you everything you need to know to practice the best postoperative care after implant bridge surgery so your new smile will last long!

What Is Implant Bridge Surgery?

As we’ve already discussed, implant bridge surgery is a modern dental restorative procedure that provides a long-term solution to people suffering from partial tooth loss. As the name suggests, implant bridge surgery involves the surgical placement of an ‘implant bridge’ (also known as implant-supported bridge or fixed partial denture) into the mouth to replace missing teeth. 

To put it simply, it’s a surgical process involving the positioning of dental implants into the jawbone at the sites of tooth loss, where they provide a strong anchorage to a dental bridge (prosthetic teeth). It’s called a ‘bridge’ because it bridges the gaps created by missing teeth, thereby restoring the continuity of the dental arch. 

Unlike traditional bridges, implant bridges replace missing teeth without compromising the integrity of the adjacent natural teeth. This is why implant bridge cost is higher than that of a traditional bridge. They offer unparalleled stability, functionality, and aesthetics, giving you an ideal replacement for your lost teeth. Moreover, their use of implants to replace natural tooth roots provides the necessary stimulation to the jawbone, helping prevent bone loss in the jaw. All of these benefits make implant bridge surgery a positive contributor to your oral health.

How Important Is Postoperative Care After Implant Bridge Surgery And Why?

Implant bridge surgery is a crucial surgery involving incising the jawbone to place implants, therefore it demands significant surgical expertise to be carried out successfully. However, your surgery’s success isn’t only dependent on the expertise of your surgeon – it also depends on how meticulous and diligent you are in providing yourself with the best postoperative care.

Note that getting dental implants isn’t an entirely pain-free process, though the implant surgery is performed under anesthesia. But once the effects of anesthesia wear off, you’ll be met with a plethora of challenges, and postoperative care is the only way of combating them. 

Being a new addition to your jawbone, the implants will undergo several processes to heal, including osseointegration, soft tissue healing, bone remodeling, and stabilization. These processes will cause many ‘normal’ symptoms indicative of healing, which include pain, swelling, slight bleeding, etc. To manage these symptoms and prevent them from exacerbating and evolving into infections, you need to practice postoperative care after the implant bridge surgery.

What’s Involved In Postoperative Care After Implant Bridge Surgery?

Now that we have a strong understanding of the rationale for practicing postoperative care after implant bridge surgery, it’s time to know the actual steps that are involved in postoperative care. Let’s categorize it into immediate postoperative care and long-term postoperative care.

Immediate Postoperative Care

Immediate postoperative care will start right after your surgery and continue for a few weeks following the surgery. In this period, you’re required to strictly observe and adhere to all the instructions that your surgeon gives you regarding oral hygiene and dietary restrictions. This includes:

  • Consuming a soft diet, as eating hard and crunchy foods, will exert pressure and stress on the implants (which are not at all stable at this point; hence, they need to be protected from undue pressure and trauma). 
  • Gentle brushing (no flossing at this point as it may irritate the already sensitive gums).
  • Using a prescribed antibacterial mouthwash. 

Note that maintaining oral hygiene is one of the most important factors in the success of dental implants, so it’s crucial for you to practice it.

As this is the time for early healing of your implants, you may experience healing symptoms such as pain, swelling, tenderness, slight bleeding, etc. For this, you’re required to:

  • Take pain relievers and antibiotics (as directed) to prevent potential infections.
  • Apply ice packs to the tender areas to alleviate discomfort.

Long-Term Postoperative Care

After a few weeks of your implant surgery, your implants will start to stabilize, and the healing symptoms that you were initially experiencing will start reducing in intensity. However, this doesn’t imply that you stop caring for your implants and leave them unmonitored. In fact, now you’ll be required to provide more consistent and vigorous care to your implant bridge to ensure its durability and functionality.

Long-term postoperative care for implant bridges includes practicing a more diligent oral hygiene routine, which includes:

  • Properly (not gently, as was the case in immediate care) brushing your teeth.
  • Proper flossing (regular/water flossing), which wasn’t allowed in the immediate care period.
  • Using an antimicrobial mouthwash. 

You’ll also be required to make long-term lifestyle modifications to keep your implant healthy and stable. These lifestyle modifications include:

  • Avoiding smoking, as it increases the risk of implant failure.
  • Avoid alcohol consumption, as it also puts you at a risk of implant failure.
  • Take a nutrient-rich diet to promote your jawbone health.

Most importantly, you’ll be required to keep a very close watch on your implants to catch the signs of implant infection or implant failure if they arise. If you notice any of its signs (such as implant mobility, bleeding, difficulty eating, foul smell in the mouth, gum recession, etc.), please report it to your dentist as soon as possible.

Conclusion 

Postoperative care after implant bridge surgery plays an important role in the long-term success and survival of your implants and bridge. By paying regular visits to your dentist and practicing proper immediate and long-term postoperative care, you’ll maximize the life of your new smile.

For more detailed information on the placement process or aftercare strategies for dental implants, book a FREE consultation with Start Smiling San Diego , located in San Diego, California. Our team of highly expert dentists will supercharge your journey towards a healthy and beautiful smile!

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