Advanced diagnostics and techniques have made recovery from dental implant surgery faster and more comfortable than ever before. The surgery itself is performed with either local or general anesthesia, so it is not painful.
Single dental implants typically require little downtime and people often return to work the next day. However, if you have multiple implants placed, you may need the weekend to recover. Factors affecting recovery include:
- How many implants were placed?
- Did you require additional steps, such as bone grafts or sinus lifts?
- How good is your health? If you are healthy and typically heal quickly, then your recovery will most likely be short-lived. However, if you are older and have some health issues, it may take longer.
A board-certified oral surgeon at Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Associates (OMSA) in Prattville, Troy, or Montgomery can explain the process of dental implant recovery and factors that would influence your outcome. OMSA has state-of-the-art operating rooms and offers a full range of oral and maxillofacial surgery services.
Nearly all side effects disappear within a week to 10 days, but there are simple steps everyone can take to speed healing and reduce discomfort.
- Bleeding. Bleeding is normal during the first 24 hours after surgery. To reduce bleeding, gently bite down on a gauze pad and try to maintain constant pressure for 30 minutes. Repeat if necessary. Sitting upright and avoiding activity also helps control bleeding.
- Swelling & Bruising. Swelling and bruising is more likely with bone grafts or more invasive surgeries. Swelling usually increases for three to four days after surgery and then begins to subside. Placing an ice pack on your cheek in the area of the implant during the first 48 hours will reduce these side effects.
- Pain. Pain medications are more effective at preventing pain than reducing it so start taking pain medication as soon as you feel the anesthetic used during surgery begin to wear off. Many people use over-the-counter medications, but you may be prescribed pain medicine.
- Activity. You should relax the day of surgery since activity causes unnecessary bleeding and discomfort. For the next three days, keep activity light. Walking and minor physical activities are usually acceptable, but avoid bending over. If activity brings on throbbing or bleeding, reduce your level of activity.
- Antibiotics. If you have been prescribed antibiotics, take them as prescribed.
- Diet. Restrict your diet to soft foods and liquids after surgery and avoid chewing near the implant site for three to five days. You should also refrain from smoking or drinking alcohol.
- Oral Hygiene. Warm salt water rinses are recommended four to five times a day, preferably after every meal or snack. Continue to brush your teeth, but be gentle near the implant.
- Wearing Prosthesis. Partial dentures, full dentures, or flippers should not be used immediately after surgery.
Questions & Concerns
Discomfort is normal after surgery, however, the pain should not be severe nor prolonged. You should report increased pain or side effects.
If you have questions about dental implant surgery, we would be happy to go over your concerns. Please call our offices with your questions.