After You Have A Dental Implant Placed, What Should You Expect?

Posted on: 14 August 2019

When you have a dental implant placed, an oral surgeon will insert a titanium post into your jawbone at the site of your missing tooth. The post integrates with the natural bone of your jaw in order to provide stability to the rest of the dental implant—the abutment and crown. As with all surgical procedures, you'll spend some time recovering afterwards. However, the recovery is often quick and simple. Here's what you can expect when you have a dental implant placed.

The Day of the Procedure

Post-surgical bleeding is normal. You will be given gauze packs to help stop the bleeding and allow a blood clot to form at the site of the dental implant. You use a gauze pack by placing it at the site of your surgery and biting down on it slightly in order to keep it in your mouth. Change the gauze packs every half an hour.

You will likely experience some pain and swelling after your dental implants are placed. Typically, you can successfully control your pain by using over-the-counter pain medication, such as ibuprofen. You can reduce swelling by holding an ice pack against your face for 20 minutes.

Plan to spend this time recovering from your dental implant procedure. Watch television, read a book, or lie in bed with your head elevated.

Two to Three Days After the Procedure

Post-surgical swelling typically peaks during this time, and you can still continue applying an ice pack to your face in order to reduce it. Bleeding and pain will greatly subside during this time.

The day after your procedure, you can begin eating soft foods. These include food items such as mashed potatoes, oatmeal, pudding, and ice cream. You should avoid any food that may damage your surgical sutures, such as chips and other small snack foods, as these can tear your sutures, cause bleeding, and result in much slower healing.

Your dentist will give you a medicated mouthwash to use two to three times a day. You'll also need to rinse your mouth wash salt water four or five times a day—at the very least, you need to rinse after every meal. This rinses food away from the surgical site and prevents it from becoming irritated. When you're using your medicated mouthwash or salt water rinse, be gentle—vigorously swishing fluids around in your mouth can damage your sutures. You will also need to be gentle while brushing your teeth, as the toothbrush can irritate your gums.

Avoid using tobacco or drinking alcohol during this time, as both will irritate the surgical site and slow the healing process.

One Week After the Procedure

After a week, recovery is mostly finished and you are no longer confined to a soft food diet. The rest of the post-implant recovery is something that your body does on its own. Your implant will bond to your jawbone in a process called osseointegration, creating a stable base for the crown. Osseointegration may take up to six months depending on how fast your body heals—factors that slow healing, such as smoking, will often make the process take longer. Once the implant has fully integrated, an abutment and crown will be placed on it in order to fully restore your missing tooth.

Overall, recovery from dental implant surgery is most often quick and easy. Pain and swelling should greatly subside after three days, and you will be able to return to eating a normal diet in a week. However, if your pain after your dental implant procedure becomes severe or if you notice that your gums are becoming sore, red, and swollen, call your dentist and have your implant examined