Because receiving dental implants requires surgery, patients must be prepared for a much longer recovery than that of other restorative procedures like dental crowns. Following dental implant surgery at Parkway Dental in Albuquerque, NM, patients may experience pain, swelling, or bleeding during the first 24 hours.
However, these side effects can be mitigated by following a few simple post-operative guidelines. Generally, patients can expect to resume normal activities after a few days. Here, we will discuss what to anticipate during your dental implant recovery.
Immediately following Dental Implant Surgery
Once your surgery is complete, you are advised to rest at home for the remainder of the day. Listed below are a few recommendations to make this initial period of recovery as comfortable as possible:
- Pain management: Like any surgical procedure, patients can expect some level of pain or discomfort following the procedure. Fortunately, this can be alleviated with over-the-counter pain medication, which should be taken as directed by your doctor.
- Bleeding: It is normal to experience some mild bleeding following your dental implant surgery. Before you leave our office, we may place a piece of gauze over the surgical site. This should be left in place for approximately 30 minutes. If bleeding persists, a moistened tea bag can be placed over the site. Gently bite down on the tea bag for about 15 minutes. The tannic acid in the tea will help shrink the blood vessels and capillaries, reducing bleeding.
- Swelling: Some inflammation and swelling can occur after dental implant surgery. To reduce these side effects, place a cold compress on the external jaw in 20-minute increments.
- Diet: It is a good idea to stick to liquids and soft foods until the numbness wears off. Smoothies, milkshakes, pudding, gelatin, and pasta are all excellent choices. In addition, we strongly recommend that you avoid straws for the first few days in order to avoid dislodging blood clots that form over the surgical site.
- Oral care: Although you will be asked to use caution when cleaning the surgical site, it is still important to gently brush and floss during recovery. This helps keep harmful bacteria at bay and reduces the risk of infection and other complications.
Generally, postoperative side effects diminish within the first few days.
Proper healing is an essential part of a successful dental implant treatment.
The First Week
Most patients are able to return to their normal activities within 24 to 72 hours.
- Discomfort, bleeding, and swelling: Typically, bleeding will stop completely within the first 48 hours. Discomfort can be managed with pain relievers and swelling can be mitigated with cold compresses.
- Diet: We recommend that patients continue a soft food diet for the first week following surgery. After that, begin to introduce more solid foods as your comfort level allows.
- Exercise: We highly recommend that patients avoid any strenuous activity for at least 72 hours. Elevating the heart rate can lead to increased bleeding, swelling, and discomfort.
- Oral care: Continue brushing and flossing, becoming more and more aggressive as your comfort level increases. You can also incorporate warm saltwater rinses to soothe the surgical site.
While this initial discomfort will fade over time, patients must be prepared for several more months of healing.
The First Few Months
After dental implant placement, a few months of healing are required. During this time, the natural bone tissue will fuse to the titanium implants in a process known as osseointegration. Depending on the complexity of your case and your body’s healing capability, this could take between three and six months and even longer in some instances.
Home Care during Your Dental Implant Recovery
During your recovery period, it is essential that you follow proper oral hygiene protocol and avoid tobacco use. You should also keep attending all routine dental appointments so that your doctor can monitor your progress and assess your oral health.
Be Prepared for Your Recovery
Proper healing is an essential part of a successful dental implant treatment. To learn more about dental implant recovery, schedule a consultation at our practice by contacting us online or calling us at (505) 298-7479.