Getting dental implants can revolutionize a patient’s life. They will be able to eat better, speak clearer, and smile without fear. Because the procedure does involve cutting into the gums and jaw, there will be a bit of a recovery period before patients can take full advantage of their new teeth. Here is what to expect after the dental implant procedure.
Immediately After the Implant Placement Procedure
Most patients do not require general anesthesia for dental implants, so they should be able to drive themselves home. However, if a patient was put under for the procedure, they will need someone to drive them.
For about 30 minutes after the surgery, patients may experience some bleeding, and your oral surgeon will apply pressure with gauze to help the area clot.
Throughout the rest of the day, it is common to experience:
- Pain or discomfort.
- Swelling or bruising.
- On-and-off bleeding or oozing.
Pain can be lessened with over-the-counter pain medications or ice compresses, and bruising should fade within two to three days. Bleeding should also stop after the first day and can be controlled by applying slight pressure to the wound with gauze or cotton pads. Swelling can often increase for three to four days following the surgery, after which it will begin to go down.
While patients can return to work or school, it is better if they take one or two days off to rest. This gives the body time to heal, so that bruising and bleeding are not a problem.
How to Care for the Mouth After Dental Implants
Because the mouth needs to heal, patients will have to slightly alter their oral hygiene habits. On the night after the surgery, they can gently brush their teeth while avoiding the incision area. To help clean the incision area, they are advised to gently rinse with a saltwater mix two to three times a day. They should craft a mix of ¼ teaspoon of salt in an 8-ounce glass of water and swish around for about five minutes to ensure the entire mouth is sanitized.
After about three to five days, the sutures used to close the incision should dissolve or fall out. This is a sign the mouth is healing well.
Tips for Recovery After Dental Implants
To maximize recovery, patients should keep in mind the following tips:
- Do not smoke or use tobacco, as this can delay healing.
- Do not use a straw for drinking, as this can dislodge blood clots and cause pain and damage to the mouth.
- Do not blow the nose — instead, patients should sneeze with their mouth open to stop pressure from building in the sinuses.
- Do not play with or pull on the lips to try and see the stitches underneath.
- Eat soft or pureed foods for the first couple of weeks after the surgery, avoiding the implant area as much as possible.
Get More Info on the Dental Implant Recovery Process
If you are still curious about the recovery from dental implants, do not be afraid to set up an appointment with our office. Our surgeons can answer all your questions and help you get on the path to a new smile.
Call Utah Facial & Oral Surgery in the Salt Lake and Utah County area today at (801) 446-4428 to schedule your consultation or contact your local oral surgeon.