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Recovering from Dental Implant Surgery: Patient Information

Randy Mitchmore, D.D.S. Mar 24, 2017

An implant-supported dental crownDental implants are artificial tooth roots that are surgically anchored into the jawbone. When a dental implant or multiple dental implants are in place, they can be used to support various kinds of dental appliances that fill the gap left by missing teeth. This includes dental crowns, dental bridges, partial dentures, and full dentures.

Many patients wonder what to expect after their oral surgery is performed. The team at our Houston dental care center would like to consider some of the basics when it comes to post-op recovery for dental implants.

Side Effects After Oral Surgery

After oral surgery, the following side effects are common.

  • Pain and Soreness – Discomfort after surgery is normal and temporary. Patients should get ample rest and take recommended pain relieves as directed. There ought to be less and less discomfort as healing progresses.

  • Bruising and Swelling – Some bruising along the gumline and some facial swelling is common after an oral surgery is performed. The bruising should heal on its own over the course of a week or so. Swelling should go down after a few days. The use of a cold compress against the face can help manage pain and swelling.

  • Sensitivity Around the Surgical Site – You'll notice some tenderness and discomfort around the area that's been operated on for a few days. This should abate on its own as the area heals.

Activities to Avoid After Oral Surgery

Some activities that you'll want to avoid after your oral surgery include:

  • Smoking
  • Use of tobacco products
  • Alcohol consumption
  • Strenuous exercise
  • Use of drinking straws

Many people are thrown off about the drinking straws rule, so let's explain. If you use a drinking straw after oral surgery, the vacuum created in the mouth can have an adverse effect on the sutures and clotting of the surgical site. Don't use straws until your surgeon gives you the go ahead.

Dental Hygiene After Oral Surgery

After oral surgery, proper hygiene is going to be key for success. Be sure to use any medicated rinses as directed, particularly in the first day or so after your surgery. Patients should rinse their mouth with warm salt water four or five times a day, especially after meals, to keep their mouth sanitary. Regular brushing and flossing needs to take place as well, though patients should be gentle to avoid harming the tissue around the implant/abutment.

Diet After Oral Surgery

After getting dental implants placed, patients will want to stick with a soft foods diet for a day or so. Avoid hot or cold temperature foods and beverages, as these can trigger sensitivity. Patients will be encouraged to return to solid foods as soon as possible. Early on, avoid crunchy foods and/or foods with crumbs as this can make proper oral hygiene around the surgical site more troublesome.

How Long Does Healing Take?

Early recovery from dental implants will take around two weeks, at which point patients should be back to many of their normal activities. Keep in mind, however, that the overall process will require a few months. The abutment needs to fuse with the jawbone for proper stability to be achieved, a process known as osseointegration. This cannot be rushed.

Be sure to attend all followup visits as scheduled so the progress of your treatment can be closely monitored.

Learn More About Dental Implants

For more information about dental implants and if they are the right option for you, be sure to contact our advanced cosmetic and restorative dentistry center today. The team at our practice looks forward to your visit and helping you smile with renewed confidence.

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Houston, TX 77098

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