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How to Recover from Dental Implant Surgery
Dental implant surgery is a minor procedure that is done on an outpatient basis. That said, it still is a minor oral surgery that involves opening the gum and suturing it shut, so dental implant surgery will leave a wound. Like all surgeries, you will need to take care of yourself in order to heal properly. That is where post-operative care comes in. You will need to prepare for post-op care before you go in for the actual surgery.
Getting back on track after dental implant surgery
1. If the dentist directs it, start a course of antibiotics
Some people have conditions that cause them to live with weakened immune systems. Such people have to prepare for dental implant surgery by taking antibiotics before and after each implant surgery. If a patient has other medical requirements, the dentist will work with the person's GP to make adjustments in preparation for the implant surgeries.
2. Stock up on soft foods and medication
A person who has just left the dentist's office is in no condition to run errands or do chores. Which is why they should have their food and medicine ready at home. That way, they can go straight home from the dentist's office and get off their feet.
3. Get someone to help with kids, chores and errands
For starters, a person should take a few days off work to rest up and heal from the dental implant procedure. They should then get someone to drive them home from the dentist. Also, they should get someone to help with chores and errands in the days following the procedure.
4. Keep the wound clean and closed
Dental implant surgery leaves the gum with a small, sutured wound. To make sure that the wound heals well, a person should:
- 24 hours after the procedure, rinse the mouth with salt water or alcohol-free antiseptic mouth rinse prescribed by the dentist
- Avoid using drinking straws because the sucking action could open the stitches
- Eat soft foods and drinks to avoid injuring themselves
- Gently brush the teeth after meals to avoid a buildup of bacteria
- Stay off their feet and avoid sudden movements
- Keep their head elevated during sleep
- Avoid smoking, alcohol and hot food or drink
5. Manage the discomfort
When the anesthetic wears off, a person may feel some discomfort. They will also experience some swelling and slight bleeding, which should go away in 24 to 48 hours. To manage the discomfort, a person can:
- Take the pain medicine prescribed by the dentist. Take the first dose before the anesthetic wears off completely
- After the first 24 hours, a person can start to rinse the mouth with salt water three times a day
- Apply an ice pack to the face near the affected area to numb the pain and help with the swelling
- Avoid foods that will cause the wound to sting. Stick with bland, near-tepid, soft foods
6. Be on the lookout for warning signs
While dental implants have a failure rate that is close to zero, it still pays to remain vigilant. A person should not hesitate to seek the help of a dentist or doctor when they notice the following signs:
- Extreme pain that persists even with pain medication
- Bleeding that persists more than a day after the implant surgery
- Pain and swelling that comes with a fever
You will heal in no time at all
It should take between five and seven days for all the symptoms of the surgery to go away. It should take a further couple of weeks for the implant to fuse with the bone around it.
That said, some people heal slower depending on a number of factors. How fast you heal will depend on how healthy you are, how well you care for yourself post-surgery and how many implants were placed in your mouth.
When all is said and done, dental implant surgery is a simple and painless procedure. Start the process of getting a perfect smile by getting in touch with us. Together, we will chart a path to getting you a smile that you can be proud of.
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