Dental implants are one of the most effective ways to replace a tooth. Because implants are placed within the jawbone, they can mimic the function of a natural tooth while preventing bone loss. Our Austin patients seeking implants should be aware of the procedure and its benefits. However, they should also understand what to expect from the healing process in order to plan for a successful recovery.
What to Expect
When you arrive home after the procedure, you will likely experience some discomfort from the surgery. Take note of what you can expect in the early stages of your recovery:
Most oral surgeries will result in some degree of residual bleeding. After dental implants, minor bleeding may continue through the first 24 hours. Having gauze on hand will minimize bleeding and help the area clot sooner.
The area around the implant will be tender or painful for a few days, with discomfort gradually disappearing within a week. Over-the-counter medications, such as those containing ibuprofen, may be enough to alleviate discomfort. Your dentist may also prescribe a painkiller for you.
It is common for patients to experience swelling over four to five days, although it is usually minor. Application of an ice pack during the first 48 hours will reduce swelling.
You will be given antibiotics to prevent infection after surgery. Follow the instructions given to you by your dentist, as an infection could jeopardize more than just your new implant.
If bleeding, pain, or swelling continues to increase or does not go away after the specified time, contact your dentist immediately.
Tips Throughout Your Recovery
Dental implants may take as long as six months to fully fuse with a patient’s jaw. During this time, there are steps you can take to promote your healing and hasten your recovery.
If you are a smoker, you must abstain for at least two weeks before and two weeks after the procedure. However, abstaining from smoking all together will have a positive impact on the entirety of your recovery, while improving your general health.
Avoid exercise early on:
Try to avoid exercise and demanding physical tasks during the first week of recovery. Engaging in strenuous activity may result in extraneous bleeding from the implant.
Avoid alcohol early on: Alcohol will have a negative impact on your body’s ability to heal, which is crucial in the first week. Also keep in mind that you will be on antibiotics and pain medication, which should not be mixed with alcohol.
Watch your diet:
First and foremost, avoid chewing in the side in which the implant was placed if at all possible. Use the opposite site of your mouth to chew and bite. As for your food choices, avoid sticky or hard foods that can push the implant out of place. These guidelines are best observed throughout the recovery process.
Keep good hygiene habits:
For the first 48 hours, do not brush or floss the implant, so as not to irritate it. After that, however, maintain proper hygien e as you normally should: brush twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste and floss daily. Good hygiene will keep bacteria off the implant and allow proper healing. If you use an electric toothbrush, consult your doctor on whether it will negatively affect your recovery.
Planning on Dental Implants?
Our office in Austin is renowned for top-notch dental implants, and we hope to extend our services to you. If you are considering getting an implant or want to know the additional risks and benefits, schedule an appointment with Austin Dental Implant Center. Call or email us for a comfortable, hassle-free consultation.