If you recently have had a dental implant surgery or you’re planning to have one in the nearest future, you might be wondering how dental implant aftercare looks like. How to care for tooth implants after surgery? Is dental implant aftercare simple?
Post-operative guidelines for tooth implants
- Day 1. Avoid solid food till the anaesthetic wears off. You would have difficulty eating anyway. After that you can only have cold drinks (e.g. yoghurts, fruit smoothies) or eat ice cream or gazpacho. Try not to drink hot drinks or eat hot food on your first day after the tooth implant surgery. Do not work out or lift heavy objects within 48 hours after the implantantion. Your gym or personal trainer will simply have to wait.
- Day 2. On day 2 you can have warm drinks and food that has consistency of baby food. Make sure you maintain a balanced diet – it is crucial for healing. Dental Implants Friends suggest drinking a few fruit and vegetable smoothies a day and having warm cream soups.
- Day 3 onwards. Warm drinks and soft foods should still be on your daily menu. It is important to keep a balanced diet. Do not starve yourself – now your body needs the nutrients from food more than ever. Do not touch or disturb your implant area with your fingers or tongue. Let the healing happen.
Post-surgery dental implant care: swelling & pain
- Swelling. It is totally normal to have some degree of swelling after any mouth operation. The swelling usually reaches its peak after 2-3 days. Do not worry. It will go away naturally after several days. If you want to minimize the swelling, use the old method of an ice pack. If you don’t have ice at home, grab a bag of frozen peas. Just make sure that you first wrap the ice pack in a towel so it does not stick to your cheek. Hold the ice pack against your cheek for a session of max. 10 minutes. Take 20 minute breaks. Another trick to help with the swelling is to sleep in half-sitting position: simply prop up your pillows and this should help ease the swelling.
- Pain. It should be bearable. You can feel some soreness in your gums and mouth for several days after placing the implant. Manage the pain with over-the-counter pain killers. Take the tablets at the max. stated doses for the first 2 days. Choose pain relief you are used to and you usually take. To avoid the pain the first dose of pain killers should be taken before the post-anaesthetic numbness subsides. If after several days you experience growing pain and swelling, go back to the dental office as soon as possible and tell your dentists about the symptoms you are experiencing. The implantologists needs to make sure you do not have an infection. If you wear dentures which cover the sensitive area, wear them as little as possible for the first week. Protect the new implant site from any unnecessary pressure. Always take out your denture for the night.
- The stitches will remain in your mouth for approx. 2-3 weeks. These may be dissolvable stitches or they may need removing by your dentist. Your doctor should inform you about that before or after the surgery.
- Bleeding. If you notice some blood, do not be alarmed. It is, again, completely normal. However, if this persists for many days or weeks, Muaks Family Dental, a dental clinic from Spain, suggests a helpful dental hack: apply some pressure to the surgery site. How to do it? Firmly bite down on the area using a damp gauze. Our tip: sit upright. Do not check or change the gauze. Apply the pressure for 60 minutes. If you are still bleeding after that, contact your dentist. If your dentist has prescribed you a course of antibiotics, make sure you take ALL the tablets. It is very important for the process of healing and avoiding potential infection.
Post-surgery dental implant care – cleaning
- Mouthwash. Clean mouth is your priority now. Start to use the mouthwash you have been prescribed on the evening of your surgery and continue for the advised time duration.
- Keep brushing! Clean your other teeth as normal with a soft toothbrush, starting on the evening of the surgery. Avoid the surgical site for the first few days, but then begin to carefully clean the area as well when tenderness permits. If the site is very tender, try using guaze or a cotton swab for cleaning.
- Use waterpik! Your dentist may also recommend you irrigate your teeth using a tooth irrigator/waterpik. This will help keep you gums free from food debris and promote a faster recovery.
- Try to keep food away from the surgical area for as long as possible. Rinse/irrigate your mouth immediately after eating.
- Do not smoke until the wound has healed as this severely limits healing in the mouth.
As you can see caring for dental implants is not that difficult. It only requires a bit of discipline and good will. We are sure you and your dentist want your recovery to be as smooth and pleasant as possible. Dental Implants Friends and Muaks Family Dental recommend you follow these very simple guidelines for post-surgery dental implant care very carefully and soon you will be at the end of your journey to beautiful smile! If you have any other questions or doubts regarding caring for dental implants go to our Knowledge Base or contact the clinic directly filling the online form.