What are Dental Implants?
A dental implant is a prosthesis used by dentists to replace missing teeth. Implants are small titanium posts which dentists place in your jawbone and then attach the following to:
- A fixed bridge
- A single crown
- A full denture
- A partial denture
After the dental implant has fully integrated with your bone, the dentist will connect an abutment to the implant, which will be utilized to attach the artificial tooth or teeth.
Dental implants are a relatively simple and quick surgical procedure. What you do at home after the operation, on the other hand, can have a big impact on the procedure's success. Recovery is a process that takes time. To keep the best results possible, you'll need patience and a dedication to following your dentist's post-op instructions.
How Long Does Dental Implant Recovery Take?
The recovery time for dental implant surgery is determined by a lot of factors. If you simply have one or two implants and no bone grafts, you may be able to recover in as little as two days. If you receive many dental implants and needed any grafts, the recovery time could take closer to a week or two. Age, health, and hygiene are also factors to consider. The estimated healing time for placing a dental implant is a complex process that can vary drastically for each patient. Your tolerances and lifestyle choices may greatly impact your dental implant healing time.
Discomfort During Recovery
The type of implant surgery you have will impact how much pain or discomfort you endure during the procedure:
Simple procedure: If you simply had one tooth replaced, your bone is in good condition, and you don't need any grafting, you should only have little discomfort.
Moderate implant: Many people who have a moderate implant surgery endure some swelling, bruising, and discomfort as a result of the procedure.
Complex procedure: Some people may take longer to recover than others. People who have many implants or have a difficult procedure may experience more discomfort.
Eating During Recovery
You may have something soft to eat an hour following surgery when you can remove the first set of gauze. Avoid hot liquids for the first 24 hours and avoid drinking from a straw for the first 1-2 weeks depending on the timeframe your dentist gave you. Following implant surgery, dentists recommend that you eat soft foods for one week to 30 days. For more difficult procedures, a soft food diet may be required for up to six weeks. Let your comfort level lead you, and avoid eating anything that will give you pain while you heal.
Recovery Tips to Help You
Take the rest of the day off to rest. You'll probably feel drowsy if the dentist gave you a sedative. As a result, you should avoid doing anything that requires concentration, such as driving. You should also refrain from engaging in intense activity or going to work.
- Follow Instructions
Your dentist might indeed tell you to avoid brushing and mouthwash at first since your mouth might be too sensitive for standard oral hygiene at this point. They may advise you to avoid brushing the sore area, but to brush the rest of your teeth as usual. Ask your doctor about their specific recovery instructions.
- Apply Ice
It is common to have bruises or swelling on your face. For the first 24 hours, apply ice on your jaw for 30 minutes, and then remove it for 20 minutes. If you’ve had surgery on multiple different areas of your mouth, try alternate applying ice to each side of your mouth. After a few days, the swelling should lessen. If this becomes worse, you find pus, or you have a fever, it could be an infection. Contact your dentist right away or visit the emergency room.
- Guard the Blood Clot
Make every effort not to disturb the clot as it heals your mouth's wounds. As a result, avoid carbonated beverages, alcohol, and drinking with a straw. Also, for a few days after your surgery, don't smoke and try to avoid spitting.
- Take Pain Medication as Prescribed
To manage your discomfort, you'll most likely be prescribed a pain medication at first. Over-the-counter pain relievers like NSAIDs and acetaminophen may suffice in some cases, but your dentist may need to prescribe something stronger in others. Talk to your doctor to see what they recommend.
- Pay Close Attention.
Keep an eye out for anything that lasts more than a couple of days, such as a fever, infection, or swelling. Also, keep an eye out for any issues with your breathing or swallowing. You could also have an allergic reaction to the anesthetic given to you by the dentist. If this is the case, contact your dentist right away and go to the emergency room.
Make sure you attend all of your post-surgery follow-up appointments so the dentist can ensure you're healing appropriately and without any complications.
Dental implants are a customized procedure, designed to specifically fit as well and support each patient. Contact our skilled dental implant experts now to learn more about the different dental implant procedures and options available for you at Heather Ridge Dentistry, today!