Getting dental implants to replace your missing teeth involves a minor surgical procedure. During the procedure, a post will be inserted into your jawbone. This post is typically made of metal or ceramic, and will become the foundation for your final tooth restoration, a dental crown.
Dental implant surgery is considered to be safe, and the majority of people won’t experience any complications after the procedure, as dental implants have a very high success rate.
But what should you expect when it comes to recovering from dental implant surgery?
You Can Expect Some Bruising and Swelling After the Procedure
It’s normal for patients to experience some pain, swelling, and bruising at the surgical site. This discomfort generally subsides within a few days following the procedure. For most patients, over-the-counter pain medication (excluding aspirin, as this can increase bleeding) is enough to deal with the discomfort.
The actual implant part of your dental implant will need to heal for a few months before your final restoration is placed—about three to six months . During this time, the implant will fuse with your bone in a process called osseointegration. This makes the dental implant strong and gives you a lifelong natural tooth replacement!
Plan to Eat Mostly Soft Foods for a Few Days
What you eat is going to play a big part in your recovery after your dental implant procedure.
Ideally, you should stick to soft foods for several days after your surgery. While your oral surgeon will advise you of specific foods you can enjoy (or should avoid), some general foods to avoid include very hot foods, sticky foods, hard or crunchy foods such as nuts and popcorn, or even spicy foods.
Foods such as soup, smoothies, mashed potatoes, yogurt, oatmeal, and softer fruits are best to eat following your dental implant procedure . Having these foods on hand before going in for your dental implant surgery can help reduce your temptation for reaching for risky foods after you get home!
Brush Your Teeth, But With Care
You will still need to brush and floss your teeth after dental implant surgery. However, you should avoid brushing the surgical site directly with your toothbrush. This is because the bristles of your toothbrush, even if they’re soft, can irritate tissues that are trying to heal, potentially slowing down healing time and causing additional discomfort.
Until your dentist or oral surgeon instructs you to, avoid brushing your dental implant after your procedure. But it’s still important to brush the rest of your teeth twice a day, gently and thoroughly!
Any Questions? Ask Your Dentist!
The good news is that, although dental implant surgery can be nerve-wracking for some, the procedure is generally less painful than many people think, and most patients are able to return to work the following day . Are you considering dental implants, or have questions about what your recovery will be like following dental implant surgery? Ask your dentist!