When you’re missing one or more of your natural teeth and looking for a replacement, dental implants may be an option for you.
Dental implants are considered the most secure choice when replacing missing teeth, and, when taken care of properly, will never need to be replaced. You can enjoy all your favorite foods and enjoy a natural-looking smile with these restorations!
But what should you expect after getting your dental implants? Here’s what happens following your procedure.
Recovery After the Procedure: Expect Minor Discomfort
During your dental implant procedure, your oral surgeon or dentist will place a titanium or ceramic post in your jaw. This is the first phase of your dental implant procedure, and the implant itself is allowed to heal before your dental crown is placed to finish your restoration.
In the days after your procedure, you may have some minor bruising, swelling, bleeding, or discomfort. Swelling may increase for a few days after your implant placement, but then it will begin to subside. Your dentist may prescribe medication based on how extensive your procedure was and how many implants you had placed.
Your discomfort should only last a few days and be relatively minor. You can use ice as recommended for the swelling, but always reach out to your dentist if you have severe pain, bleeding, or swelling that you feel is not normal after your procedure .
Healing Time: Follow Your Oral Surgeon’s Instructions
It’s essential to always follow your oral surgeon’s instructions for healing following your procedure. It’ll take a few hours for the local anesthesia to wear off, and you should wait until the numbness is gone before eating.
You should also avoid drinking with a straw for at least 24 hours after your dental implants have been placed, as the suction motion can disrupt the healing process.
What else should you do to help your mouth heal after your procedure?
- Take medication as directed. Your dentist will prescribe antibiotics and potentially pain medication. You should always take these medications as directed for best results.
- Limit any intense activities. For approximately three days after your implant procedure, you should avoid intense exercise, heavy lifting, and other strenuous activities.
- Eat soft foods. Eating softer foods will help facilitate healing and ease your discomfort . Your dentist will monitor your progress and let you know how long you should continue to eat softer foods.
- Keep your smile clean. You can begin brushing your teeth 24 hours after your procedure, and while you should avoid brushing the implant site directly, go ahead and brush your other teeth gently. Avoid using mouthwash for about two weeks after your procedure.
What Happens Next?
The self-dissolving stitches in your mouth will go away after a few days, and your dentist will schedule a follow-up appointment with you to monitor your healing and see when your final restoration will be placed.
Your dental implant must be fully healed before the dental crown is placed, which will usually take a minimum of six weeks and up to six months depending on your unique case .
Once your dental implant is healed, you’ll have a beautiful, secure restoration for life. Have questions about whether or not dental implants are the right choice for you? Don’t hesitate to reach out to your dentist for more information!