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What’s the Recovery Process With Dental Implants?

While the concept of losing a tooth or multiple teeth is an unsavory thought, one might be recommended by their dentist the use of a dental implant to fix their smile.

One thing to remember is that following the procedure of having these artificial teeth installed, the recovery process is crucial in maintaining the health and longevity of not only your new pearly whites but also your general oral health and the health of your gum line.

We’ll go over the recovery process and generally what one may expect if you or someone you know is considering dental implants in Mission Viejo.

The Implant Process

The first thing to bear in mind is what the procedure entails to help us better understand the process of recovering.

Typically, a small titanium post – or multiple posts depending on the type and number of implants needed – is first inserted into the jawbone, followed by an abutment that connects and secures the implant in place.

These steps don’t usually occur all at once, and the insertion of the titanium implants is both the most invasive part of the procedure and the part where recovery is the most crucial.

Post-Surgery Recovery and What to Expect

The posts that will hold the abutment and implants in place will need ample amounts of time to recover properly as these implants will fuse with the surrounding bone as it heals.

As these titanium pieces take the place of missing roots for the replaced tooth, it will take time before they become a part of your jawbone.

You typically won’t feel a thing during surgery after being given an anesthetic or a sedative by your dentist. You will also receive painkillers, antibiotics or both when the procedure is finished which can help to alleviate any discomfort you feel the first few days after a successful implant. 

For the first twenty-four hours, you might find your face is bruised or swollen – this is normal and can be treated by applying ice for about thirty minutes to the affected part of your jaw. Then after waiting for twenty minutes, repeat the process throughout the day.

Depending on such factors as how many teeth must be replaced, if you require a bone graft before the surgery (which is common if a tooth has been missing for some time), and bone health, there’s not a precise recovery time.

Generally, though, dentists may wish to wait a few months before they move on to the next step of adding the abutment and prosthesis but will monitor the progress of the healing with each check-up.

Easy Eating For a Healing Mouth

As you let your jaw and gums heal naturally, you will need to temporarily adjust your diet for the first few weeks.

You may be informed to avoid eating for at least an hour or two after your surgery – after which, you can safely eat softer foods such as applesauce for at least one to two weeks.

You’ll need to avoid foods that are either too hot, too cold, too tough, or too spicy to guard your blood clot and potential dislodging of it or disruption to your dental post.

After this week to two-week period passes, you may begin to slowly re-incorporate more firm and solid foods into your diet.

It’s recommended to start slow and with healthy choices to ensure proper and continued healing.

Beverages will also require some fine-tuning for the first couple of weeks – dentists will advise against any carbonated or alcoholic drinks, hot liquids, or drinking anything with a straw for this amount of time to avoid disrupting or damaging the blood clot.

Oral Hygiene After Surgery

Regular – though careful – oral hygiene is still important after you’ve been through surgery.

At first, you may be informed to avoid brushing your teeth as well as to avoid using mouthwash. It may also be suggested to primarily avoid where implant spots will likely be tender, but your other teeth can still be gently cleaned.

In place of a mouthwash, a warm salt-water rinse may be recommended.

Spitting is also ill-advised while undergoing recovery for at least the first seven days as this can also disrupt the clotting process.

It’s also recommended to avoid smoking for at least one to two weeks or to avoid it altogether. Smoking shortly after surgery runs the risk of potential infection and can prolong or even hinder your healing.

What to Look Out For

Finally, there are a few things that you should look out for if you’re undergoing the recovery process.

If it seems like the pain is worsening at any point after two weeks or longer, please reach out to your dentist right away.

Depending on how long the pain has lasted, there could be several potential causes ranging from an infection to a rejection of the implant.

Regardless of what the reason is for persistent pain post-procedure, please do not hesitate in seeking assistance from your dentist or orthodontic professional.

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