Facts to Know About Dental Implant Recovery Process
A dental implant refers to a titanium post that is surgically positioned into the jawbone when a natural tooth is lost. When healing is complete, the implant functions like a tooth-root and supports the new crown or bridge. At Swiss Denture Clinic, our team looks forward to providing you with the best possible denture solutions.
Recovery from dental implant surgery varies from patient to patient depending on: medical history, the number of teeth affected and the patient's compliance with the dentist’s recommendations during the recovery process. People with healthy gums and strong bones are ideal candidates for dental implants, but where thin or soft bones exist, a bone graft and/or sinus lift can help.
When grafting is involved, the healing process may be extended, but for most dental implant placements, there is minor postoperative discomfort because appropriate pain medications and antibiotics are prescribed. Quality of life is not drastically affected during the healing period, but patients can expect swelling and/or bruising and will need to eat a soft diet for a certain period of time.
You should be able to return to your normal diet after 7 to 10 days. In cases where bone or soft-tissue grafting has taken place, swelling may be more pronounced which can extend the recovery period quite significantly.
Tips for Speedy Recovery
Lifestyle choices during the healing-period play a huge role in deciding how soon you get well. For instance, smokers should avoid smoking for at least 1 week after oral surgery. Nicotine increases the chance of gum infection and the action of smoking can dislodge blood clots.
Hard, chewy or crunchy foods are to be strictly avoided immediately after dental implant surgery. For the first 24 to 48 hours your dentist may recommend ice and may suggest that you consume only cool foods/drinks. This period may be extended if grafting has taken place. Always follow your dentist's instructions and call the office if you have questions.
Eat Well! Avoid skipping meals and keep taking liquids at regular intervals. Fruit-smoothies are an excellent choice to support recovery, but avoid fruits with small seeds like strawberries. You can add protein supplements as they will help build tissues.
If you are diabetic, take special care to keep your blood sugar level in control. Increased glucose levels can delay your healing process and increase the risk of infection.
Avoid drinking from straws as the sucking action can dislodge the blood clot that forms after surgery. If this happens, you may feel extreme pain and may need to visit your dentist again.
Avoid alcohol which affects bone metabolism, reduces bone density and interferes with direct bone-to-implant contact. The chances of implant failure increase with the intake of alcohol.
Take antibiotics as prescribed and never miss a dose. Keep an eye on the healing area for redness, pus or other signs of infection.
Inadequate oral hygiene is another major cause of implant failure. Follow your dentist’s instructions regarding when you can begin rinsing your mouth and or brushing after surgery. Always remember to be gentle while cleaning around the surgical area.
Physical activity should be avoided in the days following surgery as rigorous physical movements can cause throbbing or bleeding. Also remember that your nutrition will likely be compromised and your body may feel a little weak. Focus on relaxation and recovery so you can get back to your workouts when you are feeling better.
Once the initial healing occurs, you will feel comfortable while the implants continue to integrate with the bone. Regular check-ups with your dentist will help in monitoring your healing process.
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Poorly constructed restorations and/or excessive pressure on implants may cause pain and infection. Please refer to our FAQ section for any queries you have related to denture solutions.
Check out our other blog to learn about the traditional and implant-supported dentures.