If you’re recovering from dental implant surgery, you may have a lot of questions. This guide will answer those questions and aide you through the healing process.
Q: How long until I’m fully recovered?
A: It takes 3-6 months for the bone and implant to integrate. Full osseointegration (bone attachment) is necessary for the healing process to be complete. You can expect to return to your regular activity and eating habits as soon as the hard tissue protecting the implant stabilizes. There are many factors that influence how quickly soft tissue heals, with age being the primary factor. You can expect a longer healing process if you are of advanced age or have a persistent smoking habit. Make sure you eat a nutritious diet and practice hygiene as recommended by your dentist.
Q: What is the best way to prevent infection?
A: Keep the treatment site clean and undisturbed to prevent infection. Rinse with antibacterial mouthwash after eating. Take any prescribed antibiotics as directed. Avoid chewing hard foods, as this will damage sensitive tissue and disrupt the healing process. Infection at the implant site (peri-implantitis) can cause the implant to fail. In that case, replacement may be necessary. You can avoid peri-implantitis by keeping your mouth clean and visiting the dentist regularly.
Q: Is bleeding normal?
A: To some degree, yes. You may notice pink or red tinted saliva, and that is entirely normal for the first 24 hours after surgery. Even excessive bleeding may occur. If this happens, gently bite on a gauze pad for 30 minutes to plug the wound. Avoid taking aspirin as the medication thins the blood and makes bleeding more prominent. Call your dentist if excessive bleeding persists after the first day of recovery.
Q: What can I eat while I’m still recovering?
A: Attempt a liquid and soft food diet. Protein smoothies and lukewarm soups are the best things to eat until the swelling and pain subside. Chewing with your new implant can damage the new bone growth and lengthen the healing process. Listen to your body, especially if you feel discomfort of any kind.
If it’s not too painful to chew, try eating steamed vegetables. They are a good source of nutrients. Fibrous vegetables, like mashed potatoes, are filling enough to help you feel full.
Q: Can I exercise?
A: No. Avoid rigorous exercise until the healing process is complete. Rapid blood flow can cause throbbing or excessive bleeding. Additionally, you may not be able to consume as many calories as you’re accustomed to. You may feel weaker than usual. Above all, you require rest.
Congratulations on your new dental implants! They are the best option to replace teeth permanently. Take care of them during the healing process, and you can expect upwards of 25 years of stable teeth.
Didn’t find your question? Schedule a consultation for a personalized dental restoration strategy. Our team at Lublin Dental Center looks forward to hearing from you.