The dental implant procedure involves placing artificial teeth (materials used vary) into the jawbone. This procedure helps restore missing teeth or replace damaged ones.
As with such a complicated procedure, the recovery process can seem very complex to some. After all, many things can go wrong along the way. It’s important to know what to expect to avoid complications from simply not being aware of the possibilities.
Dental implant recovery is far from painless. There are many steps involved in recovering from dental implants, including healing, placement, and maintenance.
We will cover some facts regarding the recovery process for dental implant surgery and post-surgery tips for you.
Fact #1: The Average Recovery Time After a Dental Implant Procedure Varies
The average recovery time after a dental implant procedure varies depending on several factors. For example, these factors can range from the implant type used, the location of the implant placement, and whether the patient has any underlying health issues.
If the patient does not require any additional surgery following the implantation process, they can return to work, eat regularly, and resume their activities in a week. However, for a full recovery and for osseointegration to complete, the entire process could last a patient up to four weeks.
If the patient opts for an All-on-4 procedure, they should expect a slightly quicker recovery time, but not by much. The healing is usually a period of three weeks, though for the dental implants to fully set, the same timeframe is expected: four months and more.
Fact #2: Patients Can Minimize a Lot of the Pain and Discomfort After the Procedure
Patients often experience discomfort after dental implants, especially during the healing process. Some symptoms include swelling, soreness, tenderness, bruising, and bleeding.
Although these symptoms usually go away within a week or two, patients may need to take over-the-counter medications to help reduce these side effects. To minimize post-implant discomfort, patients should be aware of the following tips:
- Try using ice packs to ease swelling and soreness.
- Consider taking ibuprofen (i.e., Advil) or acetaminophen (i.e., Tylenol) to relieve pain and fever.
- Avoid taking aspirin because it can thin the blood and cause excessive bleeding.
- Avoid chewing gum or eating hard foods until your dentist gives the okay.
- Remember to drink plenty of water to keep your mouth moist.
- As hard as it is, try to keep your jaw muscles relaxed and avoid clenching them.
- Get regular dental checkups to ensure your implants are healthy and functioning properly.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us at our office.
Fact #3: It’s Safe to Eat After Having Dental Implants With Considerations
After getting dental implants, many patients wonder whether it’s safe to eat certain foods. The short answer is yes.
It is safe to consume certain foods following your procedure. However, there are some things you should avoid eating after receiving dental implants for the first few weeks:
- First, avoid eating hard cheeses, such as cheddar cheese, because they may cause damage to the implant.
- Second, avoid drinking carbonated beverages, because they contain bubbles that can crack the surface of the implant.
- Third, avoid consuming alcohol because it can negatively impact the healing process.
- Fourth, avoid hot foods. The heat can soften the gum tissues surrounding the implant.
- Finally, avoid smoking at all costs. The nicotine can irritate the gums and reduce the effectiveness of the implant.
Patients can typically resume their usual diet once the implants have completed their integration. With that being said, those who have had dental implants for several months or more will need to be careful when chewing on hard foods.
However, most patients can safely chew on soft foods without any problems. Your dentist will determine whether you need to take any special precautions when eating after getting dental implants.
Fact #4: Why Getting the Right Professional is Essential for A Successful Recovery
If you’re considering getting dental implants, one fact you can’t overlook is that quality care and attention are invaluable.
There are plenty of dentists out there who offer excellent services at affordable prices. At the same time, we all know someone who has traveled abroad in pursuit of a cheaper doctor for a cosmetic fix or what have you.
But when it comes to dental implant procedures, cheaper isn’t necessarily better. Sometimes the more affordable options end up costing you more in the long run.
Expert dental care providers may have to fix the errors made by the less-qualified specialist. Infections may develop due to some medical negligence on their part, and there is no telling the adverse effects this will have on your health.
The road to recovery following dental implantation is a hard one, and an expert provider with a trustworthy practice may somehow ease the way through it. Here are a few reasons why that is:
- There is a higher chance of a successful recovery when following the recommendations of a dentist that knows what they’re doing. If you get incorrect suggestions from a low-quality provider, implant failure is possible. This implant failure or rejection can snowball into something worse.
- A high-quality dental professional will provide more information about what to expect during treatment. This includes details like how long the treatment will last and what results you can expect. Proper preparation is crucial.
- High-quality providers will also give tips for maintaining good oral hygiene after the procedure. They’ll tell you which products work best for your needs and help you develop a routine that works well for you.
Cheap dentists tend to cut corners on quality materials and procedures. They often use cheaper equipment and offer fewer services than more expensive providers.
If you are considering a specific provider for your dental work on the low, then ask yourself these questions:
- Is this dentist reputable?
- Does he/she specialize in implant dentistry?
- What does his/her practice include?
- Can I afford him/her?
- Do I trust him/her?
So while not wanting to spend a fortune on your dental care is understandable, you do want to verify you’re getting quality service.
For example, ask friends or family members for referrals. Or check online reviews to see if anyone has had bad experiences with a particular provider.
Fact #5: You May Want to Keep an Eye Out for Any Possible Warning Signs
Some patients experience postoperative complications, including dry socket (a painful condition where gum tissue dies), nerve damage, or bone loss. These problems require immediate treatment.
A dry socket occurs when blood clots form inside the vacant space left behind during the procedure. This causes pressure on nerves and surrounding tissues, causing severe pain. A dry socket usually resolves within two weeks, but it can last longer.
Nerve damage can occur when the surgeon accidentally cuts through the root of a tooth instead of drilling down to the jawbone. Nerves run along the sides of teeth and connect them to the brain. Cutting through this delicate area can cause permanent nerve damage.
Bone loss can happen when the jawbone shrinks because of a lack of blood flow. Bone loss can lead to the loosening of the implants, which means the implants need to be replaced.
Other possible complications include infections and allergic reactions.
Choose Uptown Cosmetic for a Speedy Dental Implant Recovery
You want a dental implant process that’s quick and easy and one where you can get back to work quickly and painlessly. Uptown Cosmetic Implant Dentistry is committed to providing our patients with the highest quality care possible.
Our goal is to help you regain your smile as soon as possible. And when you need additional support after your procedure, we can schedule necessary follow-ups and ongoing maintenance plans. We also offer financing options for those who need it.
Our team of experienced implant specialists, prosthodontists, and staff members is dedicated to making each patient feel comfortable and cared for during every step of the process.
Schedule your dental implant surgery today with Dr. Roberto Velasco by filling out our contact form. We can’t wait to see you!