What to Expect After Dental Implant Surgery
So, you’ve made the decision to go ahead and get dental implants. You’ve booked your appointment and picked out the best dental implants for you. And now you’re wondering what to do when the procedure’s finished and it’s time to head home?
It’s important to keep in mind that dental implant surgery is a multi-step process. But regardless of which stage of the treatment you’re experiencing, here are some tips and information to help you plan your dental implant surgery care and recovery.
Get a Ride Home after Dental Implant Surgery
To manage the pain that you might experience during the dental implant procedure, your dentist will likely administer a local anesthesia. However, depending on the circumstances, they may choose to use general anesthetics or sedation. If that’s the case, definitely plan to have someone bring you home. Absolutely no driving.
Managing Post Dental implant Surgery Discomfort
Your dentist may prescribe a painkiller to be taken immediately after surgery to alleviate any discomfort from the anesthesia wearing off. If so, don’t forget to take it with food to avoid nausea. Be sure and talk to your dentist about how soon you can switch from prescription painkillers to over-the-counter remedies such as ibuprofen — assuming you don’t have any allergies to this type of anti-inflammatory medication. And, once again, no driving if you are using prescription painkillers.
Watch out for Dental Bleeding
Immediately following your surgery, you may experience some bleeding in the area around your implants. This is a common dental implant side effect and typically subsides within 24 hours. Check in with your dentist if you have any concerns. Aspirin (and other over-the-counter medications) can sometimes increase your risk of bleeding, so it’s best to use them only after consulting with your dentist.
Don’t be Surprised by Facial Bruising
After dental implant surgery, you may notice bruises on your neck, gums or jaw. Within days, the discoloration should subside, and within 2-3 weeks, your face should feel much better.
Some Swelling and Soreness May Occur
Another potential dental implant issue is soreness and swelling around the jaw and gums. This may last up to one week, and symptoms may be alleviated by applying a cold wrap or ice pack.
Avoid Smoking after Dental Implant Surgery
It’s important not to smoke right after dental implant surgery, as it can slow down the healing process and extend the amount of time you have to wait for your dental implants to be ready for use. Also, smoking is linked to a wide variety of dental issues, from oral cancer to cavities.
Watch What You Eat after Surgery
Here are some things to avoid:
- Alcohol, which can delay the healing process
- Spicy foods, which may irritate the incision site
- Crunchy foods, which can be difficult to chew
- Popcorn, candy, nuts, sesame seeds and any other foods that might lodge in the incision site
- Hot food and drinks that could burn any part of your mouth
Also, try to avoid chewing on the side of the mouth that has the implant for at least the first couple of days. Your best bet? Go for soft foods like eggs and cheese.
Keep up with Your Oral Hygiene
After each step of your dental implant process, it’s especially important to keep your mouth clean. You can carefully brush your teeth as soon as the night of your surgery, but avoid the surgical area for the first couple of days. Additionally, gently rinse your mouth out with lukewarm salt water, starting 24 hours after surgery. Try swishing the water around, and instead of spitting, let it drip out of your mouth and into the sink. Rinses should be done two to three times a day, especially after eating.
It’s important to remember, that not everyone reacts the same way to dental implants. Be sure to follow your dentist’s advice.
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