While a dental implant procedure is a relatively short and uncomplicated surgery, the healing process is paramount in the overall success of the procedure.
If you’re considering dental implants, it’s worth noting that the recovery process does not simply happen overnight. It takes commitment and patience to maintain the best results possible.
Here’s what to expect from dental implant recovery and a few pointers to ensure your mouth heals as best it should…
The time it takes for your mouth to completely heal after a dental implant procedure is 100% unique to your own oral conditions.
Recovery time after this procedure can vary depending on a number of factors. Some of these include:
But the general consensus, post-surgery, is to expect the first two days to be painful. You may also experience swelling and bleeding for the first two days. After the third day, you should start to feel more comfortable and swelling should have reduced.
Only after the first full week should your mouth begin to feel normal after all the inflammation and pain has subsided and there has been no risk of infection.
Once you have left the dental office you may notice the oozing of blood from the site of your dental implants. This is completely normal and is to be expected for up to 48-72 hours post-surgery.
Your doctor will have placed surgical gauze over the wounds, try not to remove these for the first hour after surgery. And bite down onto them to reduce any bleeding during this time.
Keep in mind that spitting and rinsing out the mouth tends to aggravate bleeding even further, so stick to biting down on the surgical gauze until bleeding subsides.
Also, if you’ve had dental implants in the upper jaw area, you could experience bleeding from the nose. Do not blow your nose, just blot and apply pressure.
This is nothing to fret about for the first couple of hours post-surgery. If bleeding is heavier than you expected, gently wipe out any blood clots from the mouth.
Replace the surgical gauze sponges with new ones, or a moistened tea bag wrapped in gauze. Bite down firmly onto these gauze areas for approximately one hour without changing.
In order for your new dental implants to heal properly, you have to treat them as gently as possible for the first few weeks post-surgery.
This means that eating and drinking could be a little different to what you’re normally accustomed to. If you only had a couple of implants and relatively moderate surgery, you should eat soft foods for the first week- 30 days post-op.
However, if your surgery was a little more complicated, you’ll need to maintain a diet of soft foods for up to 6 weeks post-surgery. Smoothies, protein shakes, and pureed foods are highly recommended.
Try and avoid drinking extremely hot foods and drinks for the few weeks after your surgery, too. Drinking alcohol is also a no-go.
Swelling is a natural part of the healing process in your mouth and many other areas of your body. Basically, it’s your body’s way of protecting an area that has been ”injured”.
If you’ve undergone a bone grafting procedure as part of your dental implant surgery, facial swelling is guaranteed. Swelling usually begins to take effect only 3-4 days post-surgery, but will begin to subside after about 7 days.
If you’ve undergone a simpler dental implant surgery, swelling is also highly likely. You can also expect a bit of facial bruising, numbness, and tingling of the tongue and lips.
The best way to minimize swelling is by applying an ice pack to the swollen area of your face for the first 24-hours post-surgery. If you’ve had dental implants on both sides of your mouth, switch the ice pack between each side for 30-minutes at a time.
Not all oral surgeries require stitches in the mouth, but the reality is that dental implants require stitches to aid in the healing process.
This being said, these stitches are generally dissolvable and will disappear themselves in 3-5 days after your surgery.
Depending on the severity and location of your dental implant surgery, some stitches may need to be removed or will take longer to dissolve.
You may be wondering whether you can still brush your teeth after mouth surgery and dental implants. And the answer is yes, it’s highly encouraged.
Your mouth may be too painful to open very wide, but after 24 hours, you should resume regular oral hygiene practices. It’s also recommended that you gently rinse your mouth with salt water every few hours to keep infection at bay.
This being said, do not reach for mouthwashes or hydrogen peroxide rinses for at least 14-days post-surgery.
The truth is that smokers have a higher risk of dental implant failure. This is due to the fact that smoking cigarettes negatively affects the overall health and hygiene of your mouth.
Due to this increased risk, smokers should avoid lighting up a cigarette in the first few weeks following this procedure. Smoking interferes with the natural healing process of the mouth and puts you at greater risk of infection.
This is especially important for those who have undergone more severe dental surgeries and bone grafting.
If you’re looking for more tips on dental implant recovery or expert services for this very procedure, look no further than Forest Park Dental.
We offer an array of dental services, from cosmetic dentistry to restorative dentistry, family dentistry and more.
Get in touch with our team today to schedule your next dental appointment!