If you have broken or damaged one or more of your teeth then you start looking for your dental restoration options. You visit and dentist who suggests getting an implant. A procedure like this would not have been possible even 20 years ago from now. But modern science has grown leaps and bounds in the past decade. So, what is the recovery period like? Can you start eating the moment you get back from the hospital with a jaw full of artificial teeth? Let’s find out more about the dental implants recovery process, and the pain management and dietary changes needed to help you heal.
Expected Symptoms after Dental Implant Surgery
There are some normally expected symptoms after a dental implant surgery, including some pain and inflammation. You can also get ready for a sore jaw for days afterward because of the drilling. If you have gotten implants for one of your back teeth, there is also a significant risk of nerve damage. This is why it is important to carefully monitor the sensations in your mouth during the week after your surgery.
The Healing Process
The healing may be slow, but you can be sure that it will be steady. It may take, on an average, up to 3-6 months before the site is healed and ready for accepting the final teeth. Once the initial adjustment phase is over, you will be able to use your teeth exactly the way you used to.
The first few days after the dental implant surgery may require you to take over the counter pain medication (Ibuprofen) to negotiate the initial recovery phase. Between 1-3 weeks, we will be ready to remove the suture and allow the osseointegration to run its course. Osseointegration is the process in which the newly placed implant fuses with the bone and strengthens enough to hold the implant crown.
However, it must be noted that healing process can be a little different if the implant-based restoration requires a dentist to first extract the teeth. In such cases the bone needs to first heal and recover from the trauma before the implants can be placed. In some cases implants can be placed the same day as the tooth extraction, but we recommend adding a few more healing days to help minimize implant failures.
Have a look at some tips that can help you be comfortable after the surgery and facilitate the healing process.
⦁ Don’t disturb the surgical site with your tongue, finger, or food
⦁ Be gentle with your toothbrush
⦁ After one day has passed, rinse your mouth with salt water after every meal and before going to bed
⦁ Rest as much as you can
⦁ Apply ice if your jaw is sore
If you notice a bruising around your mouth or jaw, don’t get too scared. This is the normal healing process and will eventually get back to normal. Apply moist heat to get rid of the discoloration faster.
Dry lips, a sore throat, and pain in the jaw are all expected results of getting a dental implant. Don’t worry, 2-3 days and it will be all gone!
Pain Management and Diet
Taking care of your recovery can be understood in two ways. First, you have to manage the pain that you might be feeling in your jaw. The surgery involves metal screws being attached to your bone; it will be painful without a doubt. Your surgeon will recommend painkillers that you should take at designated times.
Next, you have to temporarily replace your regular diet with soft, easy-to-eat foods. It may not taste the best, but it will help your mouth heal much faster.
Foods that You Should Eat and Avoid
Avoid eating hard or crunchy foods; in fact, keep solid food away from that side of your mouth for as long as you can. Have soft foods and chew from the opposite side.
Here’s a list of foods that would be great for the recovery phase:
⦁ Baked beans
⦁ Healthy smoothies
Here’s what you absolutely should NOT eat when recovering from dental implant surgery: chips, fries, acidic foods, popcorn, too much spice, nuts, apples, and other difficult-to-eat foods.
If you follow all of our advice, there’s a good chance you oral health will be better in no time!