Getting dental implants can be a discomforting experience, as is the case with most surgeries. What most people forget is that after getting dental implants for tooth replacement, there is a recovery period. The period depends on how the procedure goes and can range from 7-14 days. However, the period varies from patient to patient and at times can be longer than 14 days.
During the recovery period, you need to be extra careful when it comes to oral care from how you brush to what you eat. We will cover all of that in this article so you can breeze through the recovery period without any issues.
What to expect post surgery
Your implant dentist will give you a gauze pack, with which you need to apply pressure on the implants to ensure that it stay in place. So gently bite on it so the pressure remains. In most cases there will be bleeding, so you may want to change the gauze if it gets soaked with blood. If not, then you can keep the same gauze in for about an hour and then change it out. After which, you will need to change the gauze every 45 minutes.
During the first day there are certain post-surgery symptoms that may occur. These are:
• Bleeding: make sure the bleeding isn’t severe, blood shouldn’t be gushing out but there will be some bleeding post surgery. Ice or a moisten tea bag should be applied to help the area heal.
• Swelling: it is common for swelling to remain in the jaw for 3-4 days post surgery. You can apply ice to the area to help it heal.
• Oozing and Pain: if the pain gets unbearable, you can take pain relievers to ease it.
Don’t panic if you bleed persistently after surgery. This is normal and a sign of your body working to heal itself and adapt to the change. For the next few days to reduce the pain and keep it minimal, you should do the following:
• Do not fiddle or irritate the surgical area in any way. You can dislodge the implant or shift it since it is not properly in place at this point.
• Make sure to find a gentle toothbrush and brush your teeth as gently as possible.
• 24 hours after surgery, you can start to rinse your mouth 2-3 times a day with salt water.
• If the swelling and pain persist, you can apply ice to the area. Make sure when applying ice, you do it for about 20 minutes and then give it rest for another 20 minutes before you reapply it.
It is common that there is some discoloration and or bruising in the area of the implant after you brush. This will more than likely persist for around 3 days post surgery. You may also feel a sharp tingle on the edge of the tooth around the implant, which is also common. But if the pain persists after about a week, you may want to inform your dentist.
To take care of your implants during the recovery period, you need to do the following:
• Rinse your mouth with salt water for 5 minutes. To do this, you can take a glass and fill it with salt water. Take a sip and rinse for around 15-20 seconds and spit it out. Keep doing this until the glass finishes. You should do this twice a day.
• Be sure to brush your teeth, while you may feel pain and swelling, it is important for you to ensure great oral hygiene during the recovery phase. Just make sure to avoid the incision area until your dentist gives you the okay.
Your diet during the recovery period
To make the recovery period easier on you and the newly acquired implants, it is smart for patients to make some changes to their diets to help with recovery. You want to eat food that won’t cause any trouble for the implants, at least until they are fully healed. Which means, you should have food that has a soft texture and don’t require too much chewing. These are:
• Baked beans
• Fruit juice and smoothies
The food you want to completely avoid are:
• Acidic food, including the citrus fruits and tomatoes
• Popcorn and chewing gum
• Chips, nuts, apples, and any hard food
• Food with lots of spice since it will lead to discomfort
• Meat that requires you to chew
It is important that you take care of the implant and your mouth after surgery. It may seem like a lot of work, but it won’t be long before you can go back to your normal routine, eating whatever you like. If you fail to take precaution during the recovery phase, you increase the chances of ruining the dislodging the implants and ruining the whole procedure. Which will end up costing you more time and money to have the implants corrected again. Therefore, it is vital you take precautions during the recovery period.