After Dental Implant Surgery
Dental implants are a great, permanent alternative to dentures. They allow you to have a full set of teeth that look and act just like natural teeth without the hassle of removing them every night or the worry of them falling out or no longer fitting. Implants require surgery. Whether you need to replace one tooth or a whole bridge, the experienced surgeons at Huronia Oral Surgery Group will take great care of you. Because implants are a surgical procedure, there are some things you should know about the healing process after your procedure is completed.
The First Twenty-Four Hours
After your surgery, gauze will be placed in your mouth to help stop the bleeding. The best way to help this process along is to apply gentle pressure. You can change the gauze after the first hour, unless the bleeding is heavy. In this case, replace them as needed.
Light bleeding throughout the first 24 hours is not unusual. Continuing to use gauze and light pressure can help stop it. If bleeding is heavy, sit upright in a comfortable chair and avoid too much physical activity. If won't stop or it becomes excessive, however, or you are concerned, you should contact the surgeon's office.
Swelling and Discoloration
Any swelling after surgery is normal. Applying ice can keep it under control.
Discoloration or bruising is also normal following surgery. Don't panic if your gums look bluish or purple. After the first day or so you can apply moist heat, which will help to speed the color removal, turning your gums back to their normal, pinkish hue.
As with most oral surgeries, some pain and discomfort is to be expected. The best way to manage it is to take the pain medication that is prescribed to you. Taking it before the sedation wears off will decrease the intensity you would initially feel. If advised, you can also take over the counter pain medication as well, to supplement your prescription.
Surgery leaves your gums vulnerable to bacteria, which could potentially cause an infection. For this reason, you may also be prescribed antibiotics to prevent that from happening. Be sure to finish any antibiotics as prescribed.
If your pain is unbearable and can't be managed with prescription and over the counter medicines or you notice anything unusual that might point to the beginnings of an infection, contact the surgeon's office immediately.
Nausea and Vomiting
Feeling ill or vomiting after surgery is also not an uncommon occurrence. It can happen as a result of the anesthesia wearing off. It may also happen because of pain medication or you are in a significant amount of discomfort. Flat soda can help ease nausea. Contact the office if either persists.
Nutritious food is imperative to proper healing. In the first day or so following surgery, you will be advised to consume only liquids - broth, milkshakes, pudding and the like. Avoid extremely hot foods and don't use a straw, as the suction may cause bleeding. After a couple of days you can move on to eating soft foods that are easy to chew. Stay away from hard, crunchy, sharp foods as well as those that can get stuck, like popcorn, nuts, seeds and chips.
Oral hygiene is important for proper healing and avoiding infections. You will be prescribed a special rinse to use to clean the areas where the implants were placed. You can also use a salt water rinse after the first day or so. Salt can help reduce inflammation. Use these rinses as necessary, especially after eating to help clear out any food that may still be lingering.
It is also important to maintain your normal daily hygiene routine to prevent plaque and bacteria buildup. Brush your teeth but take extra care around the gums. You want to avoid irritating sensitive areas.
After you have healed from surgery, you will receive your permanent false teeth. You will also be able to go back to living your life normally again, doing all of your favorite activities and eating all of your favorite foods. No one will ever be able to tell the implants from your natural teeth. In fact, unless you say so, no one will even know the teeth are false in the first place!