Dental implants can give you a fresh start and a wonderful new smile - but it’s important to look after that new smile from the moment you finish your surgery, as the recovery time is when you’re at your most vulnerable. The level of pain you experience after surgery and how long after surgery the pain may last will differ per person, but how you look after yourself during the recovery period can help alleviate and speed up that process.
Here are our top tips for a speedy and safe recovery after Dental Implants surgery:
Before The Surgery
The day before you have your surgery, try and arrange for someone to drive you home from the procedure so you can relax and not stress about driving. We also suggest going to the supermarket and picking up everything you may need. You can find what food and products we recommend having ready on hand a little further down in the article.
Your surgeon should give you some pain relief, make sure you clearly read the instructions and take as prescribed. Make sure you take your medication as soon as recommended as they will take a while to kick in. A common mistake is people waiting until they experience pain to take pain relief, forgetting that there will be a period of discomfort as you wait for the medication to kick in. But remember that even if you’re in a lot of pain, don’t take more medication than prescribed or recommended, get in touch with your oral surgeon and let them help sort out what you need!
Food and Drink
The best plan is to prepare soft foods for the first few days of surgery so you don’t disturb the area affected by surgery. Potatoes, smoothies, pasta, scrambled eggs and meal replacement shakes are all great options. Remember, even though you're avoiding hard foods, you want to still remain well-nourished and healthy, so options like meal replacement shakes will help you maintain your daily nutritional needs. As you recover you can slowly start returning to your usual diet, typically after 2-3 days, but keep in mind everyone’s recovery time differs, so focus more on how your feeling than the time passed.
Try and avoid caffeine and alcohol, as well as all hot drinks as your mouth could be sensitive. We also recommend not using a straw, as the suction used could hurt the wound and slow down your recovery time.
Following your surgery, it is important you rest and refrain from exercise and too much physical activity. While some patients are able to return to work almost immediately, others may need to take more time off to recover. This will vary depending on your surgery, how intense it is and your general recovery. Where possible, try and schedule your surgery for a Thursday/Friday so you can use the weekend to recover and return to work on Monday. The more you rest in the initial after-surgery phase, the easier your recovery will be; so use this as an excuse to miss the gym for a few days and chill out.
Having surgery in your mouth is obviously going to require some special dental hygiene in the days following. The area will be sensitive so take care at all times, being especially careful around the wound. You need to avoid bumping or touching the wound and surrounding area while it recovers. Purchase a soft toothbrush to make it more comfortable and avoid commercial mouthwashes as the chemicals in these may sting the wound. Instead, stick to a saltwater rinse to keep the area healthy and avoid infection.
After your initial recovery
Once you’ve gotten over your initial recovery you can pretty much commence life as normal. Make sure to maintain extremely good dental hygiene, brushing, flossing and gargling with salt water as healthy gums will help protect your implants. You can eat as normal, however, if your implants protrude through the gum tissue or you have your implants directly attached to other teeth, you need to avoid excessively hard pressure to the area.
To learn more about dental implants, why not book an implant consultation with an appointment with the friendly North Shore Oral team today. We are here and ready to help you!