Of all tooth replacement options, dental implants tend to offer the most advantages in terms of strength, stability, and preservation of bone tissue. For this reason, they are often the first recommendation for patients experiencing tooth loss. Before patients can fully benefit from newly installed implants, however, they must undergo a successful recovery. While implant surgery is not particularly risky and most of the healing process goes unnoticed by patients, the initial days and weeks will likely be accompanied by a few side effects.
By understanding what to expect after dental implants and oral surgery in general, patients can aptly prepare for their recovery. Moreover, by knowing how to deal with any post-surgical side effects, patients increase their chances of having a successful, uncomplicated procedure.
After undergoing dental implant surgery at our Edmonton practice, you should plan to rest for at least the remainder of the day. In the first few hours of recovery, you may notice light bleeding from your gums, where the implants have been installed. Applying gentle pressure to the area with a gauze pad should stop the bleeding, which should cease altogether by the end of the day.
Over the following days, you will develop a few side effects that are common of oral surgery, including:
Dental implants have a high rate of long-term success, ranging from 90 to 98 percent, but complications are possible. Following implant surgery, patients should primarily keep an eye out for infection and inflammation, which can result in implant failure. Typically, infection is caused by the growth of bacteria between the implant and gum tissue, causing an inability to properly heal. In order to avoid inflammation and the risk of implant failure, take the following precautions:
After the first week or two of recovery, the side effects and risks of surgery will be greatly reduced. At this point, your implants will barely warrant any attention outside of eating and hygiene. Nevertheless, it takes months for implants to integrate with surrounding bone tissue, and as a result, you should take any precautions necessary to ensure a full recovery. This primarily applies to eating habits, as chewing, biting, and diet can all impact the rate at which you heal.
First, remember to chew away from your implants to keep pressure off of them. This is particularly important during the first weeks of recovery, but should also be observed whenever possible in the ensuing months.
Also, consider which foods will be least intrusive during the first week of healing. Any hard, crunchy, or chewy foods will push or pull on implants, disrupting their placement within bone and gum tissue. Try to maintain a soft food diet early on, gradually working your way up to a wider range of foods as implants become more firmly rooted in the mouth.
Ultimately, your dentist will be able to tell you when implant integration is complete and permanent restorations can be cemented on. With the right care throughout your recovery, you can enjoy the long-term benefits of a strong bite and full smile.
If you have any questions about dental implants or our other restorative dentistry services, we’d love to hear from you. Contact us today to learn more or to schedule an appointment.