Dental Implant Care: After the Surgery
Dr. Tarek Assi considers dental implants to be the gold standard of restorative dentistry. Since these fixtures are permanently attached to your jawbone for a more secure and durable fit, the recovery period afterward is just as important as the procedure itself. Fortunately, our Coral Springs, FL dentists are here to provide you with post-op surgery instructions to help ensure there aren’t any issues as you wait for your smile to heal. At Alpha Dental Practice, our team is here to support you on your way to a renewed smile.
Read our helpful guide to learn more about the dental implant experience during the initial recovery period.
What to Expect After Undergoing Dental Implant Surgery
Having slight symptoms and discomfort after the dental implant process isn’t uncommon. In actuality, it’s to be expected. Some dental professionals even say it may take up to 2 weeks until your smile starts to look and feel normal again after undergoing dental implant surgery.
Slight bleeding for at least 24 hours isn’t unusual. A gauze pack will be placed over your surgical site for two hours after your procedure to manage the bleeding. Be sure to apply moderate pressure and don’t spit to prevent further irritation. You can replace your gauze with a new one when you come home or a non-herbal tea bag (black tea such as earl grey) over the surgical site — apply pressure for half an hour. If heavy bleeding continues, please contact our office.
It’s recommended you take pain medication on the first day even if you have minimal discomfort to prevent further soreness. Do not take pain pills on an empty stomach. Medications such as codeine, oxycodone, or hydrocodone may cause nausea, vomiting, drowsiness, and more. If these side effects occur, discontinue the medication and call our office for further assistance. You may take an alternative over-the-counter pain medication as necessary.
It’s common to experience swelling around the mouth, cheeks, and face. This usually occurs after a few days and peaks two to three days post-operative. Dr. Assi recommends applying an ice pack immediately after your implant surgery to help minimize the swelling. Alternate between applying it on your face for 20 minutes and off for 20 minutes during the first 24 hours. During the night, sleep with your head elevated at least for two nights to lessen the swelling.
Bruising can be present from around the surgery site to the lower chin area. The gradual development of black, blue, or yellow discoloration is due to blood spreading beneath the gum tissue. This is a normal reaction to oral surgery. Bruising may occur two to three days after your dental implant surgery and can last up to 14 days. Apply a moist heat pad to help accelerate the removal of the discoloration in your oral cavity.
Nausea may result from your choice of sedation or pain medication prescribed to help with managing your pain. It’s recommended you eat something before taking your prescription to help with reducing feelings of nausea. If you start to feel sick to your stomach, drink clear liquids including Ginger Ale, 7UP, and Gatorade. Stick to eating toast, crackers, and rice to ease your nausea and reduce your risk of vomiting.
It’s normal for your body’s temperature to be slightly elevated for 24 hours following your implant surgery. Dr. Tarek Assi recommends you drink a sufficient amount of cool or room-temperature water. Your fever should gradually decrease over time as your body recovers. Contact our Coral Springs, FL office if you have a high-grade fever or your temperature from after your surgery continues to persist after the first 24 hours.
Temporary Lifestyle Changes
You’ll have to make several changes to your day-to-day lifestyle in the weeks following your dental implant surgery. This will ensure you don’t irritate or damage the treated site as well as prevent further complications like infection. Dr. Assi recommends the following:
- Strenuous Activity: Limit your daily activities for the first two to three days after your surgery. This will reduce bleeding and minimize swelling around the surgical site.
- Diet: Stick to a diet of clear liquids and non-acidic foods for at least two weeks. You also shouldn’t drink from a straw for at least 48 hours to avoid damaging the implant site.
- Smoking & Alcohol: These substances can delay healing and predispose you to infection. Don’t smoke or use alcohol until the incision has completely healed.
- Oral Hygiene: Rinse and brush your teeth the day after your surgery. Do not brush the surgical site for four to five days. You can use mouthwash the day after your surgery.
- Medication: It is very important that you take your prescribed medications from our office. Each one has a specific role in the postoperative period of your surgery.
Following Up With Our Implant Dentist
It’s essential to follow up with Dr. Assi in the days following your implant surgery. You’ll be in close contact with our Coral Springs, FL office to ensure there aren’t any issues and to take the necessary steps to keep your oral health in good shape.
Sutures are placed in the surgical site to minimize post-operative bleeding and to help your tissue heal. While they can sometimes get dislodged, this is no cause for concern. Just remove the suture from your mouth and throw it out. They should dissolve on their own in three to 14 days. Dr. Assi can remove them on your post-op dental appointment.
This condition sometimes occurs after tooth extraction as a result of the blood clot not forming properly during the healing phase. This can also happen to patients undergoing implant surgery if their tooth was extracted before the actual procedure. A dry socket normally starts a few days after an extraction. Please contact our Coral Springs, FL office if this occurs.
If you use dentures, it’s advised you do not wear them after surgery until you attend your post-operative appointment. When it is inserted, your fixture should not touch the gums around the surgical site. If it does, it can lead to the loss of the implant or bone graft. Dr. Assi will be able to answer any questions you may have when you visit our office.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do gums hurt after dental implant surgery?
It’s common to feel some soreness and tenderness during the recovery period. However, you should slowly feel less discomfort with each passing day. If the pain worse or doesn’t go away, we encourage you to contact your dentist as soon as possible. Swelling can also occur but can be treated by applying a cold compress over two to three days.
What can ease the pain after dental implant surgery?
Following your dental implant procedure, your dentist will give you detailed instructions to help ease your discomfort during your recovery period. Basic steps you can take to help speed up your recovery include:
- Applying a cold compress to your face at 15-minute intervals
- Only eating soft foods for the first few days until your sensitivity reduces
- Being careful around the surgical site when you brush and floss your teeth
- Take any over-the-counter medications as directed by your dentist
How long should I rest after my dental implant surgery?
You may need to rest for a couple of days if you received one or two dental implants and didn’t undergo any bone or tissue grafts. However, if you receive multiple dental implants as well as a supplemental procedure, your recovery could last between one to two weeks. Your dentist will provide you with a more accurate recovery estimate during your consultation.
What’s the best way to protect my dental implants?
The best way to protect your dental implant is to follow any post-op instructions given by your dentist. This will ensure the surgical site heals properly while also avoiding issues that could delay the healing period. Be sure to also attend any post-op visits so your implant dentist can make sure your recovery is going smoothly and your smile is in good health.
A Smooth Recovery for Your Smile With Dr. Assi
Your journey to a brighter smile doesn’t end after your dental implant procedure. It’s also important to watch over your smile during the healing period so you can enjoy the benefits of a complete set of pearly whites for years to come. Contact Alpha Dental Practice by calling (954) 228-8509 or by filling out our online contact form. We warmly welcome patients from Forest Hills, Margate, and Pompano Beach, FL.