Tips to Reduce Pain after Dental Implant Surgery
Dental implants are small titanium screws that replace the roots of a missing tooth. Dental implants attach to small metal abutments that connect them to either dental crowns, a dental bridge, or dentures to completely restore the strength, function, and beauty of the smile after tooth loss.
While dental implants are highly beneficial, they do have some downsides, primarily the lengthy treatment process and the recovery that follows. Dental implant pain is often one of the biggest concerns for Dr. Nathaniel Podilsky’s Edmonton, AB, patients. Fortunately, there are several tips to reduce pain after dental implant surgery so that our patients have a smooth and easy recovery.
Don’t Be Afraid to Use Pain Medication
Many dental implant patients are hesitant to rely on pain medication after surgery. They often have the idea that they will tough out the discomfort unless it becomes unbearable. When dealing with post-surgical pain, it is actually easier to manage pain if the patient stays on top of it before it becomes too severe. We advise patients to take over-the-counter pain medication shortly before surgical anesthesia completely wears off, and then continue to take the medication as directed until the mouth is no longer sore.
Apply Ice Packs
Ice packs can be another great recovery tool for our Edmonton patients. Ice packs manage pain by numbing the treatment site, and they are also useful for minimizing inflammation, which is one of the most common side effects of dental implant surgery. It is difficult to get the ice pack directly on the treatment site, but if it is placed on the cheeks, it will still be effective.
To avoid damaging the skin, we suggest that patients wrap ice packs in a thin cloth and keep them on the skin for no more than 20 minutes at a time.
Adhere to All Diet Restrictions
After dental implants are placed, the surgical site will be closed with incisions. It is very important that incision sites are not disturbed while they heal. The implants also need time to fuse with the jawbone in a process called osseointegration.
To prevent excess pressure from disrupting the healing process, Dr. Podilsky will provide patients with some dietary restrictions that need to be followed in the days and weeks following surgery. Most commonly, patients follow a liquid diet for the first couple of days after treatment, and then progress to a soft food diet for a few weeks. By adhering to provided diet restrictions, our Edmonton patients can minimize pain and promote a successful recovery.
Keep the Surgical Site Clean
Minor to moderate pain is common after dental implant surgery, but severe pain is often a sign of infection. Patients can minimize the risk of infection after dental implant surgery by keeping incision sites clean and free of food particles that could attract bacteria. Patients should brush and floss as normal following dental implant surgery, but they will need to avoid brushing directly over incisions. Instead, patients can use an antibacterial rinse to clean surgical sites or they can rinse with a solution of warm salt water.
If you have experienced adult tooth loss and would like to learn more about the benefits of dental implant treatment, schedule an appointment with Dr. Nathaniel Podilsky at your earliest convenience by calling (780) 428-6846. Dr. Podilsky would be happy to answer any questions you may have about dental implants and whether they are right for you.