Dental implants are the best tooth replacement option available today. You end up with teeth that look and function just like your natural teeth, require no special care, and can last a lifetime.
But some people worry that the dental implant procedure and recovery might be so bad that implants just aren’t worth it. Nothing could be further from the truth, as healing from dental implants isn’t problematic unless you develop complications.
Normal Healing after Surgery
During the dental implant procedure, anesthesia will ensure you do not experience discomfort, but what about the recovery period? Will it be unpleasant? Here’s what you can expect after your dental implant procedure:
- Bleeding–As after any surgery, you may experience a little bleeding for up to 24 hours after surgery. You can bite down on some gauze to help control the bleeding.
- Pain–Most dental implant patients report that the pain of the procedure was not as much as they anticipated. After your anesthesia wears off, over-the-counter pain medication is typically all that’s needed to control your discomfort. If you tend to have an elevated pain response, we can also prescribe more effective medication.
- Swelling–Swelling is part of your body’s normal healing response. It will likely increase for up to 48 hours after surgery.
Of course, it is possible for people to have bleeding that doesn’t stop, excessive pain, or excessive swelling. These, along with excess heat, a foul smell, or pus from the surgical site, are signs of complications and should be dealt with immediately. But they are unusual or rare.
Minimal Lifestyle Disruption
Another good thing about recovery from dental implant surgery is that you don’t really have to change your routine. You can keep enjoying your normal activities such as work and play, and only have to take a few things into account:
- Medications–Prescribed medication should be taken according to instructions, especially antibiotics.
- Diet–Start out with soft foods (though you don’t need to go with a strictly liquid diet). You can progress to harder foods, but especially hard or crunchy foods should be chewed elsewhere in the mouth until healing is complete.
- Hygiene–You can brush and floss normally in the rest of your mouth, but don’t brush the surgical site until we tell you. Rinse the surgical site with water after every meal. We may also prescribe an antibiotic rinse.
- Activity–Avoid strenuous exercise for at least 2-3 days after surgery. You can then begin easing back into your normal routine. If exercise makes the surgical site hurt or bleed, please stop exercising. Try again the next day at a lower level of exertion and let us know at your next follow-up.
As you can see, most of the time, healing after dental implant surgery is relatively minor. It doesn’t require weeks of downtime or really any convalescence.
If you would like to learn more about the benefits of dental implants, please call for an appointment with a Philadelphia cosmetic dentist at Dental Excellence of Blue Bell.