Getting dental implants is a tried-and-true method to restore your smile and regain the full functionality of your teeth and mouth. If you have lived with missing teeth or with chronic tooth pain, dental implants will completely transform your smile.
While dental implants can be game-changers, you should be prepared for a brief recovery period. Keep in mind that the dental implants procedure involves surgical intervention and may include full sedation, which will require you to rest and heal for a few days.
How can you ensure that your dental implants recovery is as smooth and as successful as possible? We have put together a few basic aftercare tips for you.
Aftercare Tips for Dental Implants Patients
1) Manage your swelling and discomfort.
It is normal to experience some mild to moderate swelling following your implants procedure. You may also have some discomfort or even some mild bleeding. This is all normal, and these symptoms should get progressively better over the first few days of your recovery.
There are some specific steps you can take to keep swelling and discomfort under control:
- Use over-the-counter pain relievers, such as Ibuprofen.
- Ask your oral surgeon about prescription painkillers if needed.
- For the first 24 hours, intermittently apply ice to keep swelling at bay.
2) Follow the dietary guidelines.
Before your surgery, your oral surgeon will provide you with a comprehensive list of what you are and are not allowed to eat and drink, along with basic guidelines about when you can resume your normal dietary habits.
- Start off with a liquid diet, and shift toward soft foods over the first three or four days.
- For the first week, avoid anything that is hot or spicy, as these foods can cause inflammation.
- Make sure you drink plenty of fluids as you recover from your surgery.
3) Practice oral care.
Proper oral hygiene is an important part of the healing process. At the same time, being overzealous in your teeth cleaning can disrupt the healing process.
On the day of your surgery, very gently brush and floss your teeth, but avoid rinsing. You can begin rinsing with a warm saltwater mix on the day after your surgery. Doing this a few times throughout the day can help your healing process significantly.
Some patients find that it is easier to clean around the implant and abutment using a Q-tip rather than a toothbrush. No matter how you do it, you will want to be extra gentle and delicate for the first few days.
4) Avoid trauma
The primary cause of implant failure is trauma around the implant site.
This often happens due to biting down on hard foods, so make sure you avoid any hard or crunchy foods (like nuts, popcorn, etc.) for several days.
Trauma can also happen because of bruxism or tooth grinding. If you know that you suffer from bruxism, ask your oral surgeon about dental appliances that can be used to keep your teeth safe during the dental implant recovery process.
5) Allow some time to rest.
Finally, remember that your whole body needs to recover from surgery, not just your mouth. A few tips:
- Stay home for at least two or three days following the surgery.
- Avoid strenuous exercise until your surgeon gives you the all-clear.
- Make sure you give your body plenty of time to rest and recover its strength.
Learn More About Dental Implants Recovery
The right aftercare can significantly increase your odds of a successful dental implant procedure. If you have any additional questions and live in the Mobile, AL area, we invite you to contact Bay Area Oral Surgery.