Common Post-surgical Side Effects
Soon after dental implant surgery, most patients experience side effects, including dry lips, stiff jaw muscles, bruising, and swelling. These symptoms should subside after a few days and are usually gone within a few weeks. Full recovery from implant surgery takes about four to six months.
A cold compress and over-the-counter anti-inflammatories are simple ways to help minimize swelling, which will begin to subside within one week of your surgery.
Patients can help minimize side effects by following certain steps. During the first two days of recovery, patients should apply an ice pack or cold compress to the jaw and cheeks. By keeping the ice pack over the area for about 15 minutes at a time, inflammation and bruising can be reduced. Over-the-counter anti-inflammatories can also help keep swelling under control.
If you should experience bleeding, it can be addressed by applying a gauze pad to the area with light pressure. In most cases, bleeding will cease after 24 hours. However, if there is persistent, uncontrolled bleeding, patients should contact our office immediately.
Following Strict Dietary Guidelines
Any sort of movement of the dental implants following surgery can cause discomfort and disrupt the healing process. As such, patients should follow a dietary program that restricts food items that can push or pull on the implants. For the first few days, patients should follow a liquid diet. Following that, for roughly one more week, patients should limit their diet to soft foods such as noodles, oatmeal, rice, soup, and eggs. Foods that are chewy, crunchy, or hard should be avoided.
After about the first 10 days, patients can begin to gradually and carefully incorporate other food options into their diets. Patients should avoid chewing directly on the implants, and instead use the opposite side of your mouth if that is an option. By keeping your implants free from stress or excessive force, you can enjoy an easier and faster recovery timeline.
Maintaining Healthy Hygiene Habits
Patients should take extra caution while brushing and flossing to prevent injury. Implant failure is usually connected to disease or infection that has developed around the implants and undermines proper healing. Our staff can review proper flossing and brushing methods following your implant placement.
In addition to your at-home hygiene routine, patients should consider also using a mouthwash. This is an effective way to keep the mouth disease-free. Patients can create their own salt water mouth rinse at home by mixing one teaspoon of salt with one cup of warm water, and then rinsing gently after meals.
Other Implant Surgery Recovery Tips
To prevent complications and increase your chances for a healthy recovery, patients are encouraged to adhere to the following tips:
- Refrain from tobacco use: Smoking and chewing tobacco interfere with post-operative healing and increase the likelihood of gingivitis.
- Get plenty of rest: Allow yourself plenty of rest the first few days of recovery and avoid strenuous activity for at least one week.
- Communicate with our office: Any signs of infection or persistent bleeding should be brought to your doctor’s attention right away.
We Can Help Guide Your Recovery
The experienced team at Gulch Dental Studio is here to ensure you have the most positive post-operative recovery possible. Learn more about the implant recovery process by sending our office a message today.