The process of placing implants has several steps, and recovery is one of the most important ones. Following any medical or oral procedure requires tedious aftercare and careful maintenance. After the long process of getting ready to receive your implants, you don’t want to compromise the procedure with poor hygiene or aftercare. Dr. Davis will discuss your specific care needs once your surgery is complete, but first we’ll discuss what to expect following your procedure to help you better prepare for your recovery.
What to Expect After Oral Implant Surgery
The recovery time for an oral implant procedure can take several months. As the bone begins to heal, the implant will start fusing into the bone and become part of your jaw. Titanium materials are used specifically because of their ability to bond with bone tissue and improve stability over time compared to other options. Following any oral surgery, aftercare is essential in the healing process.
Side effects following surgery are expected. Over the first 24 hours, you might experience a nominal amount of bleeding from the site, some pain or discomfort, and most likely some swelling and bruising. Because we administer a local anesthetic for all procedures, you might still feel numb even if you have opted for general anesthesia. This numbness will wear off between six and 12 hours post-op. While your mouth is numb, be careful not to bite down on your tongue, cheek, or surgical site. It’s important to take pain medications and follow aftercare instructions as directed by Dr. Davis.
Tips for Managing Pain and Discomfort
Pain management is one concern of many patients. Dr. Davis will prescribe pain medications following your procedure to help subside discomfort. Always follow specific instructions from your doctor when taking prescription medications. Reduce swelling with ice packs. Wrap the ice pack in a cloth to protect your skin from the cold. If you are experiencing significant bleeding, bite down on a piece of gauze for 30 minutes to help create a blood clot. Be sure to eat soft foods like yogurt, mashed potatoes, or apple sauce. Avoid smoking before your procedure and especially during recovery.
Oral Care and Hygiene During Recovery
Your implants and the surrounding area are highly susceptible to infection, and it’s essential to care for your implants during recovery and the entire lifespan of your implant. It’s vital to keep your mouth clean during your recovery. Maintaining oral hygiene during recovery can prevent infections and ensure successful implant integration.
Your gums will be extra sensitive to brushing and flossing. Invest in a soft-bristled toothbrush and avoid heavy brushing near the implant site. Rinse the area thoroughly and regularly with salt water to help eliminate any possibility of infection. Avoid activities that could crack or damage your new implants, such as chewing on hard candies or ice or opening bottles with your teeth. The failure rate of implants is typically very low, but there is a direct correlation between smoking and tobacco use and dental implant failure. If you smoke, quitting before your procedure will boost your chances of a successful implant and smooth recovery.
Follow Up Appointments and Care
As discussed, taking extra care when brushing and flossing after getting implants is essential. Increase your oral hygiene habits following any treatment. If Dr. Davis requires follow-up visits, be sure to put them on the calendar and take any advice he has seriously to ensure a smooth route to recovery. Remember to stick to the aftercare instructions that we give you and discuss any concerns with our office. Once recovered, be sure to implement new practices when maintaining oral hygiene.
It’s important to discuss any significant discomfort with your Oral Surgeon following your procedure. Be aware of the signs of infection, including fever, unusual drainage, or redness around the site. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, contact us immediately. If you feel concerned about a specific element of recovery, contact the Oral and Facial Surgery Institute for additional tips on caring for your new implants.