Dental Implant Surgery: Patient Recovery Tips By Steven P. Thompson on March 19, 2018

A woman smiling at the dentist's officeWhen patients are missing a tooth or multiple teeth, there are plenty of options out there for tooth replacement. The most ideal option is to have a restoration or appliance supported by dental implants. These artificial tooth roots have all of the stability of your natural tooth roots, dramatically restoring your dental health and aesthetics.

Since oral surgery is required to place dental implants, the team at our Plano, TX practice would like to take a few moments to consider the recovery process for patients. Here are some tips and practical advice to keep in mind while you are healing.

Avoid Smoking and Tobacco Products

Cigarettes, cigars, and chewing tobacco can increase the risk of gum recession, periodontal disease, and post-op infection. In addition to these items, smiking can increase the risk of implant failure. Be sure to avoid the use of all tobacco products until you’re instructed otherwise. This may be a good opportunity to kick the habit for good.

Take Pain Relievers as Directed

Pain and discomfort are common side effects following oral surgery. The soreness should get more tolerable in the days ahead. Patients may be given prescription pain killers or instructed to take over-the-counter pain medications. Whatever the case may be, make sure to take these pain relievers as directed.

Apply a Cold Compress to Address Swelling

Swelling is a common side effect of any surgery. You may notice swelling as well as bruising of the gumline or cheek area where the surgery was performed. To manage the bruising, swelling, and discomfort, you can apply a cold compress to your face in the area where the surgery was performed.

Make sure the compress is covered with a towel for comfort, and do not apply the compress directly to your gums. Keep the cold compress on for 15-20 minutes, and then leave it off for 15-20 minutes. Repeat this process as needed.

What to Eat After Oral Surgery

After oral surgery, your diet should predominantly consist of liquids and very soft foods. It may be helpful to have food items at room temperature since hot or cold temperatures may result in acute temperature sensitivity. When chewing, try to do so on the side of the mouth opposite the surgical site.

Do Not Use Drinking Straws

Even though you’ll be ingesting a lot of liquids in the first days of recovery, it’s important that you do not use drinking straws until a few weeks after surgery. The suction created by the use of drinking straw may undo blot clots and stitches while your mouth is healing, which can lead to many complications.

Proper Oral Hygiene

When it comes to oral hygiene, patients can brush and floss as they normally would, though obviously they should be more gentle around the part of the mouth that was operated on.

Keeping the mouth sanitary is extremely important, which is why patients are instructed to rinse their mouths out 2 to 3 times a day using warm salt water. This helps reduce the risk of post-op infection.

Attend Follow-Up Visits as Directed

Patients will have a few follow-up visits scheduled as part of the recovery process. Be sure to attend these follow-ups so your healing is professionally monitored.

If you experience any concerns or have questions, do not hesitate to contact the practice. Having these matters addressed in a timely manner can help prevent serious issues and give you peace of mind.

Learn More About Dental Implants

For more information about implant dentistry and whether or not it’s ideal for you, be sure to contact the team at Imagecare Dental Group. Our team will work with you to ensure you heal without complications or experiencing adverse side effects.

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Imagecare Dental Group

At Imagecare Dental Group, we are uniquely equipped to handle all your dental needs in one location. Dr. Thompson is affiliated with several leading organizations:

  • Academy of General Dentistry
  • North Texas Dental Society
  • International Congress of Oral Implantologists

For more information, schedule a consultation online or call (972) 618-5000.

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