Dr. Peter Hellwig in San Diego has helped many patients achieve excellent results thanks to implant dentistry. Dental implants are artificial tooth roots that can be used to support individual dental crowns, dental bridges, or dentures with the stability of natural tooth roots.
In order to provide that level of hold, the dental implants will require a months-long healing process for osseointegration (fusion with bone and gum tissue) to occur. Below is some general information on the recovery process, with some basic do's and don'ts.
What to Expect After Your Dental Implants Surgery
After undergoing oral surgery to place dental implants, patients can expect grogginess and discomfort. This is common following any sort of surgical procedure. The effects of anesthetic will be wearing off, so numbness followed by soreness if not uncommon as the day continues.
It's important for patients to get ample rest following their oral surgery. They should avoid lying on their back and instead rest with their body propped up by a few pillows.
Changing Your Diet as You Are Healing
It's important that patients change their diet as they heal, especially early on. Patients are asked to eat very soft foods that do not involve much chewing if at all. Yogurt, gelatin, applesauce, and similar kinds of foods tend to be most ideal. The same is true with nutritional supplement drinks.
In the first days of recovery, patients are typically asked to avoid foods and beverages that are hot in temperature, cold in temperature, and spicy. This helps reduce acute sensitivity of the recently placed implant, and also avoids irritation of the gum tissue.
Avoiding Drinking Straws to Maintain Health of Gumline
In the first few weeks of recovery, it's important that patients avoid the use of drinking straws. The suction that is created from the use of a drinking straw can lead to sutures coming undone and incision sites becoming unclotted.
Pain Medication for the Healing Process
Soreness and pain are common for patients as they recovery, especially early on. Patients are asked to use recommended/prescribed pain killers and medications as directed in order to manage their pain.
How to Address Swelling of the Face
Swelling of the cheek area is not uncommon following oral surgery of any kind. Patients can use a cold compress placed against the swollen area for no more than 20 minutes at a time every hour or so as needed.
Brush Your Teeth Gingerly
Regular brushing is important for good dental health, but you will obviously want to be delicate when it comes to these matters. Full instructions for good oral hygiene as you recover will be provided during the consultation process.
Do Not Use Tobacco Products While You Are Healing
Tobacco products slow down the healing process and also make gum disease and infections more likely. Be sure to avoid smoking and the use of any tobacco products while you are recovering from oral surgery.
Attend All Followup Visits in the Weeks and Months Ahead
You will have multiple follow-up visits scheduled with your dentist and oral surgeon that will help ensure you are healing properly. Be sure to attend all of these appointments as scheduled to ensure that your dental health is as good as possible during the entire months-long recovery process.
Find Out More About Implant Dentistry
For more information about dental implants and how they can help you if you are missing teeth, it's important that you contact our cosmetic and restorative dentistry center today. Dr. Peter Hellwig and his team look forward to meeting you in person and helping you have a healthy and beautiful smile.