What to Expect during Dental Implant Surgery Recovery

By William Stofer on February 25, 2019

Digital image of dental crown being connected to dental implant and abutmentReplacing missing teeth can prevent a wide range of oral health complications. Dental implants are one of the most versatile and dependable tooth replacement options available; they can be restored with dental crowns, bridges, or dentures.

Here, our team at Dental Solutions in Warsaw, IN discuss dental implant surgery recovery so our patients know what to anticipate after treatment.

How Long Does Recovery Take?

In short, it depends on the complexity of your case. For example, a patient who is replacing an entire arch of missing teeth may require more recovery time compared to someone who is having a single tooth replaced.

However, on average, most patients can resume normal activities in about 24 to 48 hours after their procedure. Even though most individuals are comfortable in just a few days, full recovery takes about three months.

During this time, the implant fuses to the surrounding bone, a process known as osseointegration, which is essential for long-term success.

Common Side Effects and How to Treat Them

Immediately following dental implant surgery, most patients notice some degree of discomfort, bleeding, and swelling. These side effects are typical, and can be managed by following a few recommended guidelines.

Discomfort

Because dental implant placement is a surgical procedure, some level of discomfort should be expected. Your doctor may prescribe pain medication to help alleviate any soreness or tenderness. In most instances, over-the-counter medications such as ibuprofen, acetaminophen, and naproxen are adequate.

It is also important to avoid strenuous activity for about 48 to 72 hours after your procedure. An elevated heart rate can exacerbate side effects, and you may end up with increased pain if you resume exercise too quickly.

Bleeding

After your procedure, gauze pads will be placed over the surgical site. This will help slow bleeding and promote blood clot formation. These gauze pads can be removed after about 30 minutes, and do not need to be replaced unless bleeding persists.

If bleeding continues, a moistened tea bag can be placed over the site. Tea contains tannic acid, which actively shrinks blood vessels and capillaries.

Though most patients notice slight oozing of blood over the first 48 hours, heavy bleeding should not be expected. If heavy bleeding persists, contact our office for further instructions.

Swelling and Inflammation

It is not uncommon to notice some swelling along the gum line and even on the external jaw after surgery. In most cases, swelling peaks around the third day and then diminishes.

An anti-inflammatory medication, such as ibuprofen, can help manage this symptom. Additionally, applying a cold compress to the external jaw in 20-minute increments can be extremely beneficial during the first 24 hours.

Post-operative Diet

As with most oral surgery, patients will want to stick to a soft food diet for the first couple of days. Once comfort levels improve, however, more solid foods can be incorporated into your routine.

Oral Hygiene Instructions

Dr. Stofer will provide a detailed list of post-operative guidelines, which should be followed closely. However, here are a few general oral hygiene recommendations:

  • Brush the surgical site with gentle sweeps. Brush and floss all other areas normally.
  • Carefully swish with a warm saltwater solution to help soothe the soft tissues.
  • Gently soak the surgical site with an antibacterial mouthwash. This will keep the area clean and free of harmful microbes.

Contact Us for More Information

Are you considering dental implant surgery? Knowing what to expect after the procedure can help you enjoy a comfortable recovery. Contact Dental Solutions at (574) 269-1199 to learn more or to schedule a consultation at our practice.

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Warsaw, IN 46582

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