Infection Prevention After Dental Implant Surgery

Dental implants not only help improve your smile, but can also correct a malocclusion, or problems with your bite. A dental implant procedure is a multi-step process, which involves tooth extractions. Because the implant procedure involves oral surgery, post-operative infection is possible. Here some tips for preventing an infection after your dental implant procedure.

Infection Prevention After Dental Implant Surgery

Don’t Smoke

Cigarette smoking delays healing after oral surgical procedures and may raise your risk for developing an infection. It is essential for oral circulation be brisk so that socket healing can take place. Cigarette smoking impairs your circulation because it can damage the small capillaries inside your mouth. If you need help with smoking cessation, talk to your doctor to learn about treatment options such as nicotine replacement treatments and oral medications.  

Take Vitamin C

Vitamin C promotes healing and helps reduce your risk for wound infections. It can also help enhance capillary function in both smokers and non-smokers. In addition, vitamin C can also help minimize post-operative bleeding, and may prevent oral hemorrhage in those who have nutritional deficiencies.

Talk to your dentist about dosage options, as taking large doses of supplemental vitamin C can cause side effects. These include heartburn, nausea, abdominal cramps, and diarrhea. You can search for a dentist that does dental implants fort collins co in your area.

Treat Sinus Infections

If you have chronic sinusitis and are prone to sinus infections, see your doctor on a regular basis. Bacteria-rich mucus can drip down your throat from your nasal cavity, contaminating your implant surgical sites. Over-the-counter decongestant sprays and saline rinses can sometimes help prevent sinus infections by relieving congestion and washing away bacteria. While most viral sinus infections go away without any treatment, bacterial infections need to be treated with an appropriate antibiotic. While antibiotics will help eliminate your infection, overuse may cause antibiotic resistance.

Avoid Hot Liquids

After your oral surgery, avoid hot liquids. Drinking beverages that are too hot may dislodge your clots in your tooth sockets. This may raise your risk for a condition known as dry socket and cause a severe infection. Hot liquids can cause the clot in your tooth socket to dissolve.

Your dentist may allow you to drink hot liquids a few days after your surgery, however, be sure to follow your post-operative instruction sheet that your dentist gave you. Another reason to avoid hot liquids immediately after dental extractions is because you might burn the inside of your mouth. You will be unable to feel how hot a beverage is until the local anesthetic wears off.

Change Your Gauze

After oral surgery, your dentist will pack your surgical sites with gauze to help prevent excessive bleeding and to protect the sites. You will need to remove the old gauze and replace it with clean gauze per your dentist’s post-operative instructions. Failure to do so may result in a severe infection.

Bacteria can proliferate on blood-soaked gauze, especially if left in place for more than a couple of hours. Swallowing the bacteria from your old gauze may raise your risk for both local oral infections and systemic infections. To learn more about infection prevention after your implant procedure, consult with your dentist.