If you’ve made the decision to undergo treatment and receive dental implants, you’ll want to ensure you have no implications post-treatment. Your healing time will depend on a number of factors including how many implants you receive; whether it be a single tooth, multiple teeth or an entire set of teeth.
Once your surgery is complete, the implant needs to be able to heal itself with the surrounding jawbone which can take anywhere from 3-6 months, varying from case to case. Immediately after surgery is when you will be most at risk of infection or other complications, so it’s important to follow the care instructions given to you by your dentist. We’ve listed some helpful tips to consider in the first few weeks after receiving dental implants.
Take medication: It may seem obvious, but making sure you’re taking the right medication at the right times will make a huge difference to your recovery and how much pain you’re in.
Try to prevent bleeding: As soon as you notice any bleeding, apply pressure to it straight away by biting down on gauze and holding this for about 20 minutes or so. If the bleeding doesn’t stop after 30 minutes, apply cold compress with an ice pack to the surrounding jaw area. If bleeding continues 24 hours after the surgery, it’s best to contact your dentist to check everything is ok.
Reduce swelling: Applying ice packs around the jaw area every 2-3 hours will dramatically improve your recovery by reducing the swelling. Keeping your head elevated will also help with the swelling.
Nutrition: Although you won’t be able to follow your usual eating habits, you need to make sure you’re getting enough nutritional value in your meals. While it might sound nice to sit and eat nothing but custard and ice cream for weeks, you won’t be getting your essential vitamins and minerals from those foods! You need to ensure you’re getting enough of the good stuff to keep your immune system strong, otherwise you’ll be more prone to infection. Protein shakes or smoothies, fruit smoothies with vegetables, veggie soups or omelettes are all good options to help fuel your body.
Saltwater: Unless told otherwise by your dentist, rinsing your mouth with salt water a few times throughout the day will really limit your chance of infection. Do this from the second day post surgery.
Avoid smoking: Keeping your mouth as clean as possible is really important in avoiding infection and smoking can cause a lot of implications in the healing process. Smoking also discolours your implants, can damage the gum around the implants and increase risk of infection.
Rest: Your body will need time to rest and recover from the surgery so now is not the time to push yourself with heavy workload or exercise. While you can technically head straight back into work after surgery, it is generally best to take at least a couple of days off to let your body rest and relax.
Drink water: Making sure you stay properly hydrated will help the tissues heal more rapidly and with fewer complications.
If you do have any questions or are concerned with the healing process of your dental implants, you can give us a call or make an appointment to make sure everything is tracking as it should be!