At OMSH, we understand how facing dental implant surgery can seem overwhelming and kind of scary. However, one thing is for certain… You will love your new smile and feel thrilled about how your overall quality of life has improved. But, when all is said and done, when you’ve chosen OMSH to install your implants, you’ll be convinced that it was all definitely worth it.
Perhaps the most important thing any patient should know and understand about dental implants is what happens during recovery. Our experienced dental physicians consult with you well in advance to ensure that you understand the importance of your recovery process. In fact, a successful recovery period is a vital part of the overall success of your implant surgery. There will be certain things that you must DO during your recovery time, and then a few things you should NOT DO to ensure a successful healing process. Below, OMSH shares the common do’s and don’ts of dental implant surgery recovery. So, take a moment to learn more and stay informed.
The Do’s of Dental Implant Surgery Recovery
Follow the Instructions
- After your surgery, the most important thing to do is to follow all of our oral surgeons’ postoperative instructions. Trust us when we say that our years of experience in performing dental surgeries are a direct benefit to your recovery success.
- Get Help – For the first few days, you will need a little personal assistance with ensuring that you carry out the instructions. Especially when it comes to taking any prescribed medications and with preparing foods to eat. Overall, the instructions help you reach a successful recovery and get back to your normal daily activities when the time is right.
Get the Right Kind of Rest
- You will definitely want to plan time to rest the day of your procedure. Although the implant surgery is an outpatient procedure, you’ve still had surgery; so, resting is vital.
- When you lay down, be sure to keep your head propped up with pillows. Keeping your head above your heart helps maintain adequate blood flow to your head. In fact, this will also help reduce facial swelling and prevent excessive bleeding.
- Do ice, ice, and ice some more. You’ll want to use ice throughout the day to reduce swelling. For example, we recommend that you alternate icing your face for 30 minutes on and then 30 minutes off. Do this for the first 18 hours after surgery.
- Always take your pain medicines exactly how we have prescribed. Even if you’re still numb from the anesthesia, take the medication when the dose is due. The more proactive you are about taking the meds, the less you’ll have to deal with post-surgery pain and discomfort.
- Should you take your medications during the late night and early morning hours? Absolutely! You should set your alarm to wake up and take any dose of medication that is due. This will help you stay on top of the pain.
Eating, Drinking and Cleaning Your Mouth
- Of course, you’ll need to eat soft foods. However, eat only after your bleeding has stopped. Appropriate foods to eat include – liquids, soups, mashed potatoes, and yogurt. Also, be sure to eat slowly and do not use straws.
- Keep your mouth clean by rinsing it with warm salt water 4x/day. However, you should start this on the SECOND day following dental implant surgery. This is especially important to do after you eat to carefully remove any food debris left in your mouth.
- Lastly, eat healthy vitamin-rich foods. For example, vitamins A and C are vital in helping promote overall healing. You may also take supplemental vitamins to ensure you’re getting the proper nutrition your body needs.
Adhere to These Don’ts
- You’ll have to stay away from exercise and strenuous activities for the first few days after your dental implant surgery. Your OMSH surgeon will provide specific details on how long your body needs rest as this is your time to heal.
- Don’t eat any hot foods or drink any hot beverages until the numbness has gone away. Consuming hot foods and drinks while you’re still numb could cause burns or additional injuries and impede the healing process.
- Avoid chewing or biting hard, sticky, and crunchy foods at all cost! We recommend you adhere to this instruction for the first 6-8 weeks after your surgery. Your new dental implants need adequate time to heal so that full bone-implant osseointegration can take place.
- Although you should brush your teeth twice daily and floss every day, you will have to avoid this for a while. Your oral surgeon will provide instructions on when you can restart your normal oral care routine. However, when you do start back, be gentle with your teeth and gums to help continue promoting recovery.
The Really Important Don’ts
- Do not smoke. Consequently, smoking can not only make it harder for your body to heal, but it can cause implant failure. And similar to dental extraction recovery instructions, smoking can cause a painful oral surgery complication called dry socket. This happens when dental patients use straws or cigarettes and make the sucking motion which causes developing blood clots to dislodge from the socket. Overall, it impedes healing, causes severe pain, and increases the risk of a serious oral infection.
- In addition to not smoking, don’t drink alcohol for the first 24 hours after your surgery. Alcoholic beverages not only make it harder for you to heal but also interfere with any medications your doctor has prescribed for you.