Are you planning to have dental implants soon? Learn more by reading what you can expect after the dental implant surgery here.
The dental implant procedure replaces missing teeth with titanium posts that are placed by the dentist in your jaw bone. It connects a fixed bridge, single dental crown, complete denture, or partial denture.
While dental implant surgery may be intimidating to some, it is absolutely worthwhile. The length of the dental implant healing process can differ depending upon the individual and the particular surgery in terms of complications or amount of implants, but it generally takes a week to see a considerable amount of improvement in symptoms. Let’s go over what to expect once you arrive home from surgery and what you can do to ease any pain and inflammation.
Recovery and healing time is typically shorter than most people think. Usually most major symptoms of surgery clear up within the first week, but sometimes recovery can take longer, depending upon how many teeth you had implanted.
Generally, once you leave the dentist, you may experience mild bleeding from around the implant site; this is completely normal and should clear up within a few hours after the implant placement surgery. You may also experience pain associated with swelling and drainage, which should clear up after 2-3 days.
Once you have reached the third day, most of the bruising should have dissipated and the pain should subside substantially. You may also experience stiff jaw muscles, sore tongue and throat, and a dryness that will all largely subside within day 7.
Number Of Implants Received
Receiving one dental implant placement will have a much shorter recovery time than having a full implant surgery done, so this plays a big role in determining the time it takes for recovery. For example, an All-On-4 implant will take a longer amount of healing time than a single implant procedure would, so this needs to be taken into consideration.
Bone grafts are needed if your jaw bone is not strong or thick enough to support the stress that an implant restoration needs, especially the pressure an All-On-4 would put on the bone. If you lack proper bone thickness and/or strength, then you may need a bone graft. This will extend recovery by a minimum of a few weeks, with most discomfort subsiding within the next month or two. This also largely depends on how much bone grafting is needed, as a small amount of bone grafting would not extend recovery time like a larger amount would.
A Few Tips For Recovery
1: Use Ice & Heat
Ice is a wonderful pain reliever, especially if you find yourself experiencing any swelling. This helps to reduce inflammation, as well as assist in blocking local nerves from sending pain signals. Heat can also be used, but should be used with caution and only If there is no risk for infection, as this pulls blood away from the surgical site and to the cheek, which could cause a spread of infection. Infections are unlikely, but important to note when using heat.
2: Brush Lightly
This is an important aspect in maintaining a good healing process, so when you brush your teeth, make sure that you brush lightly and be very careful around the newly implanted teeth. You may find it helpful to purchase a toothbrush with soft bristles, so any risk of damage to healing tissue is reduced.
3: Rinse With Salt Water
Rinsing your mouth with salt water a few times each day can help pain, but the main goal with this is to reduce any risk of infection or swelling due to a build-up of fluid. This will also assist in cleaning areas inside of the mouth that may be painful or difficult to clean with a brush during healing time.
4: Avoid Hard & Acidic Foods
Avoiding both hard and acidic foods is a must when recovering from dental implant surgery for you, as biting down on a hard substance could very well cause damage to a newly implanted tooth, along with any tissue surrounding it. Acidic foods may also irritate tissue around newly implanted teeth, causing both pain and inflammation. These are best avoided for a while. This gives you the perfect opportunity to go grocery shopping so that you can pick up soft foods that you like, which could be anything such as potatoes, yogurt, oatmeal, bananas, eggs, fish, ice cream or beans.
5: Use An Antiseptic Mouthwash
Particularly if you use an Antiseptic Mouthwash that contains menthol, this will not only help to clean the mouth of any bacteria, but will also cause a cooling effect due to the menthol contents of the mouthwash. This could be very helpful, especially during the first week of recovery when inflammation is at its highest.