Posted on: 19 November 2019Share
If you have had teeth pulled, then dental implants can provide you with a natural looking option to regain your smile. A dental implant with crown is indistinguishable from a natural tooth, both in appearance and in function. Unlike dentures, you won't have to worry about an implant slipping when you talk, or that certain foods will be hard to chew. The following advice can help you know what to expect during the recovery period so you won't compromise your new implant:
The first hours after your surgery require some special care of the new implant site. You will leave surgery with a stainless steel post in your jaw bone and this post has to heal in place via a process called oseointegration before the tooth-like crown can be placed upon it. For the first 24 hours, your focus will be on reducing swelling and bleeding so that the integration with the bone can begin.
You will be given gauze to bite down on until the bleeding stops, which typically occurs in the first hours after surgery. An ice pack can be used on the outside of your jaw to help reduce swelling and discomfort. Your dentist may also provide you with prescriptions for antibiotics and pain relievers. Make sure to have these filled and waiting for you following your procedure. Finally, plan to eat soft foods, like soups, puddings, and smoothies, until the implant site heals.
Days 2 & 3:
These are often the days with the most discomfort. You may even see some bruising on your face near the implant site. Continue to use ice to manage the pain and swelling, and take your medications as prescribed. You may also be instructed to swish salt water around your mouth to keep the implant site clean.
You can typically resume regular brushing and flossing on day 2. Just be careful when cleaning your teeth near the implant site.
Day 4 & Beyond:
By day 4, swelling should no longer be a concern, and most of the discomfort should begin to go away. Unless instructed otherwise by your dentist, you may also stop the salt water rinses.
At this point, your main focus should be on avoiding any behaviors that can compromise the implant, such as using nicotine products. You may also be tempted by certain foods once the discomfort subsides, but stick to soft foods until your dentist gives you the okay to expand your diet again.
Contact an implant dentist for more help.