Undergoing dental implant surgery can be a difficult experience; but like any type of surgery, trying to rush recovery will waste the work that was put into the procedure. In other words, how well you take care of yourself afterward will determine how your body reacts to the implants.
Dental Implant Recovery Duration
Generally, it takes 5-7 days for the post-operative symptoms of dental implant surgery to subside. Yet, for some patients, it may take a little longer to recover. For example, if you have multiple implants or All-On-4 implants, you will need additional time to recover. Similarly, if you’ve had a sinus lift or bone grafting before the implant, your downtime will also be several days more.
Factors That Can Affect the Healing Process
With any surgical recovery process, your lifestyle will have a direct effect on whether or not your body will heal properly. Your post-op surgery tolerance levels will also affect recovery time. Such negative effects include the following:
If you start smoking soon after, you will impede the healing process or stop it completely. This, unfortunately, can lead to serious infections, especially if bone grafting was involved in the procedure.
You can also impair the healing process with a poor diet. For those who do not make healthy food choices as their body is working at healing after dental implant surgery, the process could take several weeks or months. At the same time, excessive alcohol consumption is another factor that slows the healing process. What some patients don’t always realize is that certain foods and drink can cause your body to reject the implants, or increase oral infections.
Poor Oral Hygiene
Of course, failure to take care of your dental health will also increase dental infections. Good dental hygiene practices are especially critical at this point since they prove to be the best way to eliminate plaque and infection buildup around the gums. Your dental practitioner will advise you on the best way to keep your teeth clean so you don’t damage the implants and keep the areas around them clean as well.
Foods & Drinks to Avoid After Dental Implant Surgery
The first 2 weeks or 10 days are critical when it comes to dental implant recovery. The wounds from the procedure are still fresh during this time, and the implants need time to set in. Here are some foods that you should avoid to prevent damage during this time:
- Corn and potato chips.
- Hard taco shells
- Ice cubes
- Steaks or other tough meat that requires rigorous chewing.
- Carrots unless they are cooked soft or shredded into small pieces.
- Toasted or crunchy bread.
- Hard candies, sticky taffies and jellies, caramels, and gum
- Sodas, heavy alcohol, and carbonated drinks
Lastly, when you drink beverages please avoid using a straw, instead, use a cup to avoid dislodging the natural-forming blood clots near the surgical areas. Using straws can create dry sockets which are extremely painful and can slow down the healing process. Plus, avoid chilled and piping hot drinks. The spike in temperature can cause discomfort around sensitive areas.
Dental Implant Follow-up Appointments
Your oral surgeon will ask you to come in for a follow-up appointment 3 weeks after the surgery to check your dental implant recovery rate. In 2 to 6 months, you will be asked to come again so that he/she can uncover the implant and place a healing abutment if the implant was placed as a two-stage treatment. If you only had a bone graft, however, the implant surgeons of OMSH will have you come in 2 to 4 months after grafting.
Overall, you want to remain aware of implant downtime and make sure that you are doing everything in your power to promote the healing process. Full implant recovery can take time, but only your oral surgeon can tell you how you should take care of yourself to prevent infection.
For appointments and information, connect with the experienced oral maxillofacial surgeons of OMSH. Call us today at 832-509-4505, or book a consultation online.