Dental Implant Surgery: What to Expect After Surgery
Dental implant surgery has had profoundly positive impacts on patients everywhere. Worried about recovery time and healing? Here’s what you need to know.
Dental implant surgery is a safe, painless procedure that helps improve the appearance and function of your teeth with natural-looking dental implants.
Although going into surgery can be daunting, you should know that dental implant surgery is a stress-free experience during which you are under anesthesia. You don’t feel a thing!
The recovery period after your dental implant surgery can be slightly inconvenient. By knowing beforehand what to expect after surgery, you can be better prepared and feel a greater level of ease throughout recovery.
The top concern most people have going into dental implant surgery is whether it will hurt.
Thanks to powerful anesthetics, you don’t feel any pain during the procedure itself.
After your dental implant surgery, you may begin feeling some pain as the anesthesia wears off.
Fortunately, you don’t have to bear it without help.
Your dentist prescribes pain medication so that you can feel good and go about your life.
Most of the pain occurs in the first six hours after the dental implant surgery. As the days pass (and with the help of the pain medication) the discomfort subsides.
Some people have a nauseous reaction to the pain medication. If this is your case, a common solution is to eat something light before taking your pill. This helps in most cases, but let your dentist know if nausea persists.
If you don’t have enough pain medication on you, you can also use over-the-counter solutions like ibuprofen or aspirin. Be sure to consult with your dentist about this to make sure there’s no conflict with your prescribed medication.
The most important thing is to rest, particularly the first two days after your dental implant surgery. Avoid doing exercise for at least four days.
Swelling and Bleeding
Swelling and bleeding are an inevitable part of dental implant surgery.
You continue to have heavy swelling for approximately three days after dental implant surgery.
You can control swelling with ice packs. Apply ice twenty minutes on and twenty minutes off for the first 24 hours post-surgery. Use regularly for the next few days.
If swelling gets really bad, let your dentist know. There are medications available to alleviate extreme swelling.
Don’t panic if you are bleeding. The amount of blood you lose after dental implant surgery is extremely minute. Most of what seeps out is actually saliva. It’s just mixed with some blood.
To control the bleeding, you’re given gauze packs.
The initial gauze packs placed in your mouth need to stay for about an hour after surgery. After that, you change them out every 30-45 minutes.
Moisten the gauze with a slight amount of water, then place it in your mouth over the surgery area. Bite down gently to keep it in place.
If bleeding remains profuse after the first few hours, it may be you’re not clenching the gauze pack with enough pressure on the surgical area. You can also try adjusting your sitting position to upright.
If these don’t work, get in touch with your dentist for further assistance.
What to Eat After Dental Implant Surgery
It’s important to keep eating nutritiously after your surgery.
Soft foods are best for the first few days. Oatmeal, apple sauce, milkshakes, soup, yogurt. Gradually work your way back to solid foods.
Avoid food that’s too hot. You can damage the sensitive surgery area and provoke more pain and bleeding.
If you want to recover properly after dental implant surgery, follow good dental hygiene under the guidance of your dentist.
Keep brushing your teeth. However, don’t do it too hard. Brush softly and be extra gentle around the surgery areas of your mouth.
Rinsing is an excellent way to keep your mouth clean without provoking pain. For better soothing and healing, rinse with a salt water solution (about 1/4 teaspoon of salt dissolved in water).
Rinse with this solution 2-3 times a day. Feel free to rinse more often if you want. It helps reduce bleeding and gets the taste of blood out of your mouth.
Remember, having a clean mouth eliminates bacteria, making the healing process smoother and protecting against complications.
Don’t Smoke After Dental Implant Surgery
If you smoke, avoid picking up a box of cigarettes for at least two weeks after your surgery.
Dental implant surgery leaves your mouth sensitive. Smoking during the delicate recovery period places you at risk of infection. It also makes it harder for your implants and your gums to adapt to one another.
Other Things to Look Out For
Some people experience discoloration of their gums after dental implant surgery. They become black, yellow, green, or blue.
Discoloration is the result of bruised tissues. If it shows up at all, it happens 2-3 days after the surgery.
Don’t worry–discoloration is temporary. It goes away on its own, but you can get rid of it faster by using moist heat on the affected area.
You may also get a sore throat, caused by the swelling of the throat muscles. It only lasts a few days. Try alleviating sore throat with remedies such as gargling with salt water.
How Long Does Recovery Take?
The recovery period for dental implant surgery is normally short– just a few days!
However, the recovery time for everyone is different. Factors include age, health, and hygiene. People with conditions like diabetes may take as long as two weeks to fully recover.
The key to a swift recovery is resting, keeping your teeth clean, and following your dentists’ instructions.
If you plan to undergo dental implant surgery, make sure you set aside a few days for recovery. The last thing you want is to place unnecessary stress on yourself and delay healing.
Bleeding, swelling, and minor pain are the biggest concerns. With gauze pads and medication, these are easy to keep under control.
Stick to soft foods for a few days, avoiding dishes that can get stuck in your teeth (rice, corn, ribs, caramel).
Don’t smoke during your recovery period. Keep your teeth clean with light brushing and daily rinsing.
With the help of a good dentist, you will be back to your regular life (with a new smile!) within a few days’ time.