Before dental implant surgery, your dentist or oral surgeon will give you sedation and apply a local anesthetic to keep you comfortable. But what can you do after surgery to maintain your comfort and keep your implants healthy? We will explain tips for a successful dental implant recovery.
Follow Post-Operative Instructions for Dental Implants
After you have dental implant surgery, it’s essential to follow post-care instructions. Below are some basic guidelines, but you will receive detailed instructions before the date of your surgery.
- Discomfort – As sedation and local anesthetic wear off a few hours after surgery, you will feel discomfort. Take pain reliever when and how your implant dentist directs. It will prevent your discomfort from escalating.
- Drinks – Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated, keep your mouth moist, and assist in healing. Avoid drinking hot liquids. Also, avoid drinking through a straw because the sucking action can cause the blood clot to dislodge. It can even irritate the surgical site and cause bleeding. Protein drinks are nutritious and will give your body strength to heal faster. Ensure you intake enough liquid and food daily; you will be stronger and recover more quickly.
- Food – You will consume liquids only for the first day or two. When you can eat, only take in soft foods that do not require chewing. You can eat warm (not hot) soup, applesauce, gelatin, or other soft foods, but avoid the surgical sites. Gradually add foods that require minimal chewing. You can puree or steam vegetables and meat to maintain good nutrition. Avoid sticky or crunchy food or food that requires a lot of chewing. If dental implants get irritated from the forces of chewing, infection, loose implants and failure can occur.
- Hygiene – Your implant dentist will give you an oral rinse to keep your mouth clean. Use it as prescribed but avoid spitting; let the water run out of your mouth. Don’t brush your teeth near the implant site. Warm salt water rinses can soothe the surgical areas and promote healing.
Other Do’s and Don’ts after Implant Surgery
What else should you do or avoid after dental implant surgery? Follow these guidelines:
- Avoid touching the implants with your finger, tongue, or anything else.
- Don’t smoke. It restricts your blood vessels and slows the healing process.
- Apply cold packs to the side of your face for the first 48 to 72 hours. It will reduce and help control swelling.
- If you experience mild to moderate pain, take pain-relieving medication as directed or prescribed by your implant dentist. Call the office if you have sustained severe pain.
- You will see some blood in your saliva after surgery. After a day or two, it will diminish. Apply clean gauze to the surgical site and gently bite on it to minimize bleeding. If it doesn’t stop, use a moist tea bag (preferably black or dark tea) containing tannin, which promotes clotting. If bleeding persists, call your implant dentist.
- You will receive detailed post-care instructions before your dental implant surgery. Familiarize yourself with the instructions before the day of your surgery. Also, provide your designated driver with the instructions because, after surgery, you will be drowsy.
Closely follow the post-procedure instructions to promote healing and a positive outcome.
Dr. David Finley, a Monroe, Louisiana dentist and Fellow of the Academy of General Dentistry, sponsors this post. Read about Dr. Finley’s commitment to providing patients with some of the best dental care in Monroe.