Dental Implant Recovery and Aftercare
Taking good care of dental implants is just as important as caring for your natural teeth. Once your dental implants are in place, your oral care routine shouldn’t change; brushing twice daily and flossing will help you preserve your oral health and function. But before you start on routine care, you’ll go through a short period of recovery, during which you’ll need to take special care of your oral structures so they can heal properly.
Recovering from Dental Implant Surgery
- Avoid eating until the local anesthetic has worn off.
- To avoid burning your sensitive gums, don’t consume hot drinks and food for the first day,
- Do not irritate the surgical site with your fingers or tongue.
- Avoid strenuous exercise (such as running or working out).
- Swelling will peak on the second or third day after surgery. Use an ice pack (or a bag of frozen veggies) wrapped in a towel to help ease the pain and swelling. Apply for no more than 10 minutes at a time, and take a 20-minute break between applications.
- Use over-the-counter medications such as ibuprofen and acetaminophen for pain, unless otherwise directed. Your dental professional will most likely prescribe medication as well.
- Minor bleeding is normal after implant surgery. To stop the bleeding, bite down gently but firmly on moistened gauze for around one hour. Don’t check or change the gauze until the hour is up.
- If bleeding persists, contact your dentist for further advice.
Caring for Your Dental Implants and Restorations
After surgery, it’s important that your mouth is kept as clean as possible. When you start to eat and drink, try to avoid letting food and beverages touch or pass over the surgical site. After eating, rinse your mouth to help keep the site clean. Try to stick to soft foods for as long as possible, preferably for around 7 days after surgery.
It’s also important that the surgical site isn’t disturbed for the first few days after surgery. The night of surgery you can clean your teeth as normal, as long as you avoid the surgical site. After a few days, it should be okay to gently clean the area.
Please note that smoking will significantly delay healing, as irritants in the smoke can inflame the surgical site. Smoking reduces blood oxygen, which further slows healing.
Full healing can take up to 6 months after dental implant placement, but your recovery time depends a lot on how well you care for the implants. Smoking, poor nutrition, and alcohol can all delay your recovery time.
Consult Your Dentist for More Advice
If you have any questions or concerns about your dental implants, remember that you can always call your dentist for advice! Your dental implants need the very best of care to make sure they stay in great condition, so don’t hesitate to ask for help when you need it. Contact Dr. Thomas Mack and Dr. Sergio Souza at North Canyon Dentistry today!