If you’ve been approved for a dental implant procedure, you may be wondering what’s in store for you recovery wise. Getting a dental implant is one of the best replacements for your natural tooth, but the procedure involves a few steps and some recovery time.
During the actual implant placement process, your dentist will place a titanium or ceramic post in your jaw to fuse with your jawbone. Once healed, this post will support a dental crown for a fully functional and beautiful smile.
So what should you expect after getting dental implants?
Some Swelling and Bruising Are Normal
It’s important to know that some swelling, bruising, and minor bleeding after the procedure all are normal . This is especially true in the first 24 hours after the procedure, where your symptoms may seem to get worse before they get better.
Your dentist will have advised you on what medications you should take, including prescription and over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications. You can also use ice packs to help keep the swelling down and manage the discomfort.
Should you have severe pain, a fever, or a bad taste in your mouth, these are not normal signs of healing, and you should contact your dentist or oral surgeon as soon as possible to discuss next steps.
Be Careful to Avoid Hard Foods
While your dental implant is healing, it’s important to avoid eating hard or crunchy foods . These are foods that can aggravate the surgical site and even dislodge the blood clots that are vital to the healing process.
These foods may include chips, nuts, popcorn, hard or crunchy breads, raw fruits and vegetables, and sticky candies. You should also avoid eating foods that are very hot, as they can cause more discomfort for your healing smile.
Stick to softer foods such as smoothies, yogurt, soups, applesauce, oatmeal, and noodles to protect your surgical site until your dentist lets you know when you can start enjoying normal foods again!
Clean Your Teeth With Caution
Although you’ll want to keep your mouth clean while your dental implant is healing, you won’t actually want to brush the implant itself or the surgical site directly. Even if you’re using a soft toothbrush, it’ll be too harsh at first while your mouth is healing. Instead, avoid the surgical site when brushing and flossing your teeth until your dentist lets you know it’s safe to do so.
When You Can Return to Normal Activities
Most people who have a dental implant procedure can return to work in about two or three days. Of course, your recovery will depend on how well you take care of yourself. This includes resting, eating soft foods, taking your medication as prescribed, and not smoking, as smoking can increase your risk for complications following the procedure .
Soon You’ll Be Able to Enjoy Your New Smile!
Letting dental implants fully heal can take time, but within a few days, you should be feeling better and back to all your normal activities. After a few weeks, your dentist will be able to place your dental crown so you can begin enjoying your new smile with your dental implant!