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This is the number-one question we hear from our patients, and our answer might shock you! For most patients who undergo a routine dental implant, recovery is not that bad.
The majority of patients can take an over-the-counter pain medication and be fine. Other patients have even gone back to work after the procedure.
Minimal Pain and Quick Recovery
The implant procedure usually requires a small incision in the gums. Surprisingly, bone has no nerve endings, which means little to no pain. However, in more complex cases, we may provide a prescription pain relief medication. Nevertheless, the pain usually subsides within a day or two.
We also understand that anxiety can cause pain. At Acre Wood Dental, we go to great lengths to ensure your comfort and relaxation. If you need assistance in calming your nerves, we offer sedation dentistry in Waco, Temple, and Gatesville, Texas.
Eating after a Dental Implant Procedure
We recommend that most people wait at least an hour after surgery before eating. This gives the gum enough time to clot. Once you remove the gauze and the bleeding subsides, you can start with soft foods. Remember to avoid using a straw and hot liquids.
After 24 hours, you can gradually introduce firmer foods. Listen to your body and avoid any discomfort. If something causes pain, it’s best to wait until you have fully recovered.
The Healing Process
The first day, you may experience some soreness and tenderness. However, each day after the initial procedure, you should feel better. If the pain persists or worsens, please contact our office for a follow-up exam.
Swelling is expected during the healing process. Applying ice to the surgical area and using anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen can help reduce swelling and discomfort. In some cases, swallowing blood or certain medications may cause nausea or dizziness. These symptoms typically go away within 24 hours.
If you have a fever above 100°F that lasts more than 24 hours and doesn’t improve with over-the-counter medication, please contact our office.
Recovery Time for Dental Implants
The recovery time depends on the complexity of the dental implant surgery. For most people, it only takes 1-2 days to fully recover. However, if you require multiple implant procedures or bone grafts, the recovery time can be longer, usually around 1-2 weeks. Other factors, such as health, oral hygiene, and age, can also affect the recovery time. If you have concerns, don’t hesitate to reach out to our office for a follow-up exam.
Maintaining Oral Hygiene After Dental Implant Procedure
Good oral hygiene is crucial during the recovery period. We recommend rinsing with warm salt water regularly for the first 24-48 hours after the procedure. After this initial period, you can start incorporating gentle brushing and flossing into your routine. Avoid using a straw and tobacco products.
Say No to Smoking
Avoid smoking and tobacco products at all costs. Smoking can significantly hinder the healing process and increase the risk of infection. Research has shown that smoking leads to a higher rate of implant failure compared to non-smokers.
Completing the Implant Procedure
Full healing time usually takes around 4-6 months after the surgery. At that point, you will come in for an exam, during which we will attach the abutment and add the crown. This is a same-day treatment.
Long-Term Care for Dental Implants
The benefit of dental implants is that they function just like natural teeth. To ensure their longevity, maintain good oral hygiene by brushing your teeth twice a day for 2 minutes each time. Don’t forget to floss regularly and schedule routine check-ups and cleanings.
While implants can’t develop cavities, they still require proper care. Pay attention to your gums, especially around the implant. Gum care is essential!
At Acre Wood Dental, we are here to help you through every step of the dental implant recovery process. Book a consultation today!