Dental implants are one of the best and most reliable forms of tooth replacement. During dental implant surgery, your dentist will remove any tooth or teeth that are damaged and require replacement and will implant a titanium rod in the tooth socket. This rod functions as a tooth root. Once the rod is implanted, your dentist will top it o with a crown. This will give you a strong implant that will look and function just like your natural tooth. As with any surgery, there will be a recovery period while the surgical site heals. Here’s what you can expect to experience during your recovery period after surgery.
Your implant site will need time to heal following surgery.
The wounds from the surgery will need some time to heal, but in the meantime, you’ll be more vulnerable to infection because of the wound. Preventing infection from taking hold is crucial to your recovery — getting an infection at this stage could cause your implant to fail.
Your dentist may prescribe antibiotics for you to take after surgery, and it’s important to take those antibiotics exactly as prescribed. Keeping the site clean is also crucial for healing. Your dentist will prescribe an oral rinse with instructions to use it a few times a day. You’ll also want to rinse your mouth with salt water several times a day. These rinses will help keep your mouth clean and free of germs that could lead to infection.
Remember that when the healing process is over, you’ll end up with a dazzling smile.
Your dentist will give you an anesthetic so that you won’t feel any pain during your surgery, but once the anesthesia wears o, there will be pain. You may also experience some swelling, bruising, and bleeding.
How much pain you feel depends largely on your own pain tolerance, as well as the details of your surgery — for example, if you need a bone graft as well as an implant, you may have more pain than if you only had the implant done. Depending on your pain level, you may be able to control the pain solely with over-the-counter medications; however, your dentist may also prescribe prescription pain killers. Ice packs held against your jaw can cut down on facial swelling and help numb the area to prevent pain. Bleeding after surgery is normal, at least for a day or so following your procedure. You can control the bleeding by biting down on gauze pads.
Eating and Other Activities
Immediately following the surgery, you’ll want to stick with soft foods that don’t require chewing, like soup, ice cream, and yogurt. Until the wound begins to heal, you won’t want to chew with the implant. On top of that, your jaw muscles may feel sore and stiff, which can make eating difficult. You’ll need to maintain the soft diet for ten days to two weeks. Once you start to feel better, you can gradually introduce more solid foods, until you’re eventually back to your normal diet.
Staying hydrated is important following surgery. You should avoid hot drinks like coffee and carbonated drinks like soda, and you should also avoid drinking from a straw while you’re healing. It’s a good idea to increase your intake of water as well. If you’re a smoker, avoid smoking for at least the first two or three days following surgery, as smoking interferes with your body’s ability to heal and can negatively impact your implant’s success.
Every individual is different, which means that every recovery is different. If you have questions about your recovery or you aren’t sure if something you experience is normal, you shouldn’t hesitate to call your dentist with your questions. For more information about dental implants, contact us.