The dental implant surgery is followed by a long healing process of 3 to 6 months. That’s the amount of time necessary for your jawbone tissues to heal around the titanium or ceramic implant via a process called osseointegration. However, most of the recovery and healing occurs in the background without your active awareness, i.e., you can go about your day while your body continues healing the jawbone around the implants. The downtime after the implant surgery is far shorter — most patients can resume their daily activities and diets within a few days.
This article provides essential information about post-surgery recovery, including the common side-effects, recovery guidelines, and the warning signs of complications.
Dental Implants Post-Surgery Side Effects
- Swelling of the gum and face
- Bruising of the gum and skin
- Dental pain at the implant area
- Minor bleeding for 4 to 6 hours
The pain and side effects usually dissipate within a week — call your doctor if the pain continues after a week. The pain, discomfort, and swelling can be managed with pain medications, antibiotics, and cold compresses. You might also have some dietary limitations at this point, but most patients can resume their daily activities and diets in a few days.
Dental Implants Post-Surgery Recovery Guidlines
Dental Implants Aftercare: How to Control the Bleeding?
- Bite down on an antiseptic gauze for at least an hour to control the bleeding.
- Don’t remove the gauze before the hour’s up because you might dislodge the clot.
- Bite down on a moist tea bag for about 30 minutes — tannic acid encourages clot formation.
- Don’t rinse for at least 48 hours after the surgery.
- Keep your tongue away from the implant site.
- Avoid exercises and physical exertion.
How can you Control the Pain after Dental Implant Surgery?
- Take over-the-counter pain medications, like Tylenol or Ibuprofen, every couple of hours according to the surgeon’s recommendation.
- Take the prescribed medications for excessive pain according to the given schedule.
- Don’t take the medications on an empty stomach.
- Don’t use heavy machinery while the pain persists.
- Don’t drink alcoholic beverages.
- Take the prescribed antibiotics to prevent infections.
Dental Implant Recovery Tips on How to Control the Swelling
- Apply ice packs or cold compresses every 20 minutes for approximately 48 hours.
- Apply ice packs to your cheeks on the side of the implant surgery.
- Start using warm packs instead of ice packs after 48 hours.
- Keep your head elevated while sleeping for the first 48 hours to minimize swelling.
Oral Hygiene after Dental Implant Surgery
- Don’t rinse for at least 48 hours.
- After 48 hours, rinse your mouth with warm salt water at least 5 to 6 times a day for 2 weeks.
- Brush twice a day, but don’t interfere with the implant site.
- After 4 weeks, you can start brushing the implant site with a soft toothbrush with extremely gentle strokes.
Dietary and Lifestyle Guidelines for Dental Implant Recovery
- No smoking for the entire recovery and healing process, i.e., 6 months or more.
- Don’t use straws for at least one week because the suction force might disturb the clot.
- Don’t eat chips, seeds, nuts, popcorn, or other hard foods.
- Only eat soft foods, such as milkshakes, yogurt, ice cream, pancakes, and eggs, until the numbness wears off.
- Increase your fluid intake by drinking plenty of water to compensate for the dietary restrictions.
Dental Implants Warning Signs of Complications
Dental implants, both titanium and ceramic, have an approximately 97% success rate, which means you have to account for a small chance of implant failure or complications. The complications may arise due to improper recovery, poorly executed surgery, implant rejection, or allergic reactions to titanium. Ceramic implants usually fare a little better because there’s no risk of allergic reactions, but you should still be watchful of the warning signs of complications.
The following are the potential signs of dental implant failure or surgical complications:
- Dental pain long after one week
- Increasing dental pain
- Difficulty chewing after a week
- Gum inflammation
- Gum recession
- Extreme bleeding
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