7 Facts About Dental Implant Recovery
When looking to replace missing teeth, dental implants offer the most natural results. Unlike alternative treatments such as dental bridges and dentures, dental implants are inserted into the underlying bone of the missing tooth. The implant bonds with the jawbone in a process called osseointegration and becomes a permanent part of your jaw. This gives it strong stability and strength, similar to that of natural teeth.
While dental implants are highly effective in replacing missing teeth, most people don’t like the idea of surgery. Like any other surgery, an implant takes time to heal, which needs patience and perseverance. After surgery, the recovery process is usually a significant concern for many people.
Dental Implant Recovery Information
Knowing how what to expect after implant surgery can make the recovery process easier. This article discusses seven facts about dental implant recovery. These include:
1. Discomfort is Expected
Since the procedure is invasive, you should expect to experience some side effects such as bleeding, pain, swelling, and sensitivity. Thankfully, your dentist will prescribe medications to manage these effects. You can also use a cold compress on the cheek to manage pain and swelling. You should notify your oral surgeon immediately if side effects worsen or persist after taking medication.
2. After Surgery Aftercare Instructions
Immediately after the surgery, your dentist will provide detailed aftercare instructions that you should follow strictly to facilitate faster healing and prevent complications. For instance, your dentist will ask you to avoid brushing the surgical site until the incision heals.
3. Recovery Varies from One Person to Another
How quickly you’ll heal and recover depends on your specific treatment plan. For instance, if you just had one implant without a bone graft, you should expect minimal discomfort and quick recovery, usually within a few weeks.
On the other hand, if you had bone grafting or multiple implants, the recovery will take longer. Patients who experience complications during the surgery may also take longer to heal.
4. Rest is Essential
Like any other surgery, enough rest is essential after implant surgery to promote faster recovery. You must avoid strenuous activities, including exercises or sports, for the next 5-7 days. Such activities can dislodge blood clots, cause bleeding, delay healing, or even cause the implant to fail. Make sure you elevate your head when resting or sleeping.
5. Change Your Diet
For the next one to two weeks, you should be careful of what you eat. Entirely avoid hard or chewy foods as they can disturb the surgical site and cause complications. Also, too hot, cold, or spicy foods can cause increased irritation or sensitivity around the surgical area. Instead, eat soft foods like eggs, soft fruits, cooked beans, fish, vegetables, soups, and yogurt.
6. Follow-up Appointments
Your oral surgeon will schedule follow-up appointments to check on the progress of the implant and ensure that you’re recovering as expected. The number of follow-up meetings will depend on your specific treatment plan. For instance, people who need bone grafting before implant surgery will have more follow-up appointments. To speak with our Seattle dentists, contact Greenlake Dental.
7. Lifestyle Changes are Necessary
While most dental implant surgeries are successful, certain factors can increase the risk of failure. After surgery, behavioral habits such as smoking and alcohol intake can delay healing or cause the implant to fail. It’s therefore advisable to avoid any negative habits that can interfere with your healing process.
How Long Does It Take to Recover From Dental Implants?
As we’ve seen above, dental implant recovery varies from patient to patient. On average, dental implants take about 3-6 months to heal.
When to See a Doctor
While dental implants have a high success rate, the chances of failure or complications can’t be avoided. Although very rare, you should call your oral surgeon or visit a dentist near you if you experience:
- Severe and consistent pain
- Increased sensitivity
- Persistent bleeding
- Infection on the surgical site
Contact our Greenlake dentist at Greenlake Dental for emergency dental care.
With proper dental care and hygiene, a dental implant recovery should be quick and smooth. For dental implants in Seattle, contact Greenlake Dental today to book your appointment.