Dental implants are a go-to for patients looking for permanent tooth replacement. They mimic the appearance and functionality of natural teeth, enabling one to speak, smile, eat, and laugh just as they would before tooth loss. However, many people are nervous about getting dental implants because of the time it takes to recover from the procedure.
What is the recovery time for dental implant surgery?
A dental implant must fuse with the jawbone before a crown can be added to complete the restoration. The time it takes your mouth to completely heal after dental implant surgery is dependent on several factors, including:
- The number of implants
- Whether you underwent bone grafting for the procedure
- Your overall oral health and bone structure
- The rate at which your body heals
What happens immediately after dental implant surgery?
It is common practice for a dentist to administer local anesthesia before a dental implant procedure. The anesthesia numbs the surgical area and keeps you comfortable during the process. After dental implant surgery, you will not experience pain until the anesthesia wears off. Following the procedure, you may also experience some swelling and bleeding from the surgical area. This is completely normal and may continue for up to 72 hours after the surgery.
What should you do after a dental implant procedure?
To minimize pain and discomfort and speed up your recovery, you should do the following things after dental implant surgery.
- Take your medication
Your dentist will likely prescribe pain medication. They may also prescribe antibiotics to eliminate harmful bacteria that could cause an infection. Take all medication as prescribed.
- Guard the blood clot
Your dentist will place surgical gauze over your wound at the site of the implant. Avoid removing the gauze for the first-hour post-surgery and bite down on it to minimize bleeding. Eventually, a blood clot will form in the surgical area. Avoid using straws, rinsing your mouth vigorously or anything else that could dislodge the clot.
- Get plenty of rest
One of the simplest yet most crucial aspects of healing is rest. Overexerting yourself following dental implant surgery can greatly hinder your recovery. So after your procedure, take the rest of the day off to relax and recuperate. Even as you start to feel better in the days following implant surgery, you should still avoid strenuous activities or activities where you risk getting hit in the face, as these things could lead to complications that could set back your recovery.
- Eat soft foods
Track your diet and ensure you have key vitamins, proteins, and calcium to facilitate your healing. Stick to soft, nutritious foods that require minimal chewing after your surgery. You can try smoothies and shakes as well. Also, avoid exposing the surgical area to extremely cold or hot food and drinks.
- Rinse your mouth with warm salt water
During the first week after dental implant surgery, mix a cup of warm water with a tablespoon of salt and rinse your mouth with the solution a few times a day. This will help disinfect the surgical site without irritating it.
- Use a cold compress
It’s normal to have swelling after dental implant surgery. To minimize the swelling, use a cold compress. Apply the cold compress to the swollen area for 15 minutes, remove it for another 15 minutes, and repeat. Use a cold compress for the first few days after implant surgery.
- Practice proper oral hygiene
Continue brushing regularly to prevent bacteria growth. Brush your teeth normally but avoid the implant area to limit irritation. You can brush this area once the tenderness subsides.
It would help if you also avoid smoking, drinking alcohol and biting your nails. Smoking or chewing tobacco may restrict blood flow to the jaw and slow healing. It can also hinder gum growth around the implant. On the other hand, alcohol may interact with the medication prescribed. It also dries out the mouth and hinders the mouth’s natural ability to heal. It may also irritate the surgical area. Biting your nails may apply pressure to the implant area, resulting in pain or the jagged edges of your nails could scratch your gums and introduce bacteria.
Where can you get dental implants in Slidell?
If you need dental implants and are searching for a dentist in Slidell, visit us at Fremaux Dental Care.
At Fremaux Dental Care, we believe that everyone deserves to enjoy great oral health and all the benefits that come with it, and our team is committed to providing our patients with high-quality, comprehensive dental services that exceed their expectations. We offer various dental restoration services, including dental implants, to restore the functionality and appearance of your teeth. Call us today to schedule an appointment with one of our experienced Slidell dentists to learn more about our dental implant procedures.