Dental Implant Recovery Process: Everything You Need to Know
Wondering what to expect during the recovery period from dental implant placement? We are here to ensure that you are as informed about your treatment as possible; continue reading to learn everything you need to know about the dental implant recovery process.
Do Dental Implants Hurt?
If you’re like most patients, you are probably curious to know if you will be in pain after you have had a dental implant placed inside the mouth. This is one of the most common questions that most people have when considering implant treatment.
To the surprise (and relief) of many, most routine dental implant placements do not cause patients an extreme amount of pain.
Of course, it's important to keep in mind that the placement process for a dental implant is considered surgery. In some cases, it can be a bit invasive. For this reason, a bit of pain or discomfort directly after the procedure is completely normal.
Most people find that over-the-counter pain medication - such as Tylenol or Ibuprofen - is enough to keep any sort of slight pain or discomfort away. In most cases, this pain or discomfort subsides after a few days.
If you have persistent or serious pain after your implant placement, it is important to inform your dentist right away. This may be a sign of infection or another serious condition.
In some cases, prescription pain medication may be prescribed, though this is usually reserved for patients who had a bit of an extensive or special case. Your dentist will inform you what they recommend for you.
How Long Does It Take To Recover After Implant Placement?
After the placement of a dental implant, it typically takes anywhere between four and six months to heal. It is important to keep in mind that everyone is different; some bodies heal slower or faster than others. For this reason, there is no set recovery or healing time.
The best way to ensure a quick recovery is to have patience, keep up with your post-operative instructions and be sure to attend all of your post-operative check-up appointments with your dentist.
What Should I Avoid After Dental Implant Placement?
If you are a smoker, it is highly recommended not to smoke after you have had your dental implant placed in the mouth. In fact, it is strictly prohibited; a direct link between tobacco smoking and implant failure has been found.
Tobacco smoking is often regarded as one of the things that absolutely must be avoided after dental implant placement. The suction that is formed in the mouth while smoking has the potential to dislodge blood clots that have formed. The chemicals and toxins can irritate the gum tissues.
It is also ideal to avoid:
- Extremely hot foods (Coffee, tea, soup, etc)
- Crunchy foods
- Chewy or sticky foods
- Tough foods (steak, beef jerky, etc)
What Can I Eat After I’ve Had A Dental Implant Placed?
In most cases, it will be recommended that you wait at least a few hours before eating after the placement procedure. This is to ensure that the bleeding has had time to clot and subside. This also ensures that the numbing agent has had time to wear off a bit.
For the first few days, it is strongly recommended to keep a soft diet. This means enjoying foods like:
- Scrambled eggs
- Mashed potatoes
- Macaroni and cheese
- Protein shakes
More solid or tough foods can potentially cause damage to the healing tissues, disrupting the overall healing process.
If you typically use straws to enjoy your beverages, it is recommended to avoid doing so - for at least the first few days. Any sort of suction force in the mouth has the potential to dislodge the blood clots that have formed. This ultimately causes active bleeding and disrupts healing.
Do My New Implants Require Special Care?
When you first have your dental implant placed, you will be instructed to follow your post-operative instructions closely to help promote healing.
Once your implant has healed, you can care for it just as you would a natural tooth. This means brushing and flossing thoroughly at least twice daily, being sure to brush for a minimum of two minutes each time.
It is also important to keep up with your periodic dental cleaning and check-up appointments. These appointments are crucial for your healing process as well as your overall dental health. Your dentist will take this time to examine your teeth and gums, ensuring both that you are healing properly and that the rest of your teeth are healthy and free from decay or damage.
With the information you have learned here, you will have a better understanding of what to expect during the dental implant recovery process. Of course, the best way to learn what you can personally expect during the healing process is to consult your trusted dental professional, but this is a great place to start.
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