What to Expect After a Dental Implant Procedure

October 1, 2020

What to Expect After a Dental Implant Procedure

From what to eat to how to manage swelling, here’s what you need to know.

Dental implants are one of the most exciting advancements in modern dentistry, making replacements for missing or damaged teeth or even full sets of dentures more natural, more comfortable, and more esthetically pleasing than was previously possible. If dental implants are new to you or you’re interested in learning more about the benefits, you can check out our Introduction to Dental Implants here, and see various before-and-after dental implants Winnipeg success stories from Tuxedo Dental Group patients here

If you’ve decided to go for it with dental implants, congratulations! We’re excited for you to see and enjoy all the benefits of your decision. To help you plan ahead, we’ve answered some common questions about what to expect after a dental implant procedure. 

How long does it take to recover from dental implant surgery?
Everyone is different, and the healing process will vary from person to person. The average time to be fully healed following a dental implant procedure is around 3-6 months. (That doesn’t mean you’ll be experiencing a lot of discomfort for that full time though!) 

Most people will need 2-4 months for osseointegration (the fusing of your bone and the implant) to be completed, and once that is complete your new tooth can be placed.

Directly following your procedure, you’ll be given a full explanation of what to expect and how to take care of your dental implant. You’ll also be given a detailed sheet to take home outlining at-home post operative care. And of course, you can always call us if you have any questions or concerns.

Do dental implants hurt afterwards?
We’ll always do everything we can do to be as gentle as possible and minimize your post-operative discomfort. That said, it’s normal and expected to experience some swelling and discomfort after your dental implant procedure. Following the post-operative instructions will help to minimize any pain and discomfort, and you’ll also be provided with medication to aid with your recovery. That said, it is common to return to work the following day after a dental implant procedure.

How long after dental implants can I eat normally?
You shouldn’t attempt eating any solid foods at least until the anesthetic wears off completely, to avoid inadvertently biting your tongue. On the first day after your surgery, soft but nutritious foods like milk with cooked cereals, scrambled eggs, cottage cheese, and soft toast are recommended. After this, you can add things like soup, broiled fish, stewed chicken, mashed potatoes, and cooked vegetables, based on how your mouth is feeling. While it might be tempting to eat nothing but ice cream and pudding, it’s very important to eat nutritious foods! This will aid in your healing, and will help you to feel all-around better. Eating properly will also help to prevent nausea that can sometimes be brought on by certain medications. 

You will need to avoid acidic foods like tomatoes, orange juice, and other citrus foods, as well as any sticky or hard foods. Do not use a straw for beverages, as this creates a vacuum in your mouth that may dislodge the natural clotting that needs to occur as you heal. Do not drink alcoholic beverages while you are taking your post-operative medication.

What can you not do after dental implant surgery?
You should not operate heavy or hazardous equipment for at least the first 24 hours, or until your healing allows and medication is not affecting your abilities. 

There are some foods and beverages that should be avoided, as mentioned above. 

Vigorous physical activity and vigorous mouth rinsing can elevate your heart rate and blood pressure, and this will have an adverse effect on your body’s natural healing process. You’ll need to rest for the first 72 hours, and do only moderate physical activity like a walk after that and until your healing is well under way. Your dentist can help to clarify what’s best for you in terms of re-introducing more vigorous exercise. 

How long does it take for swelling to go down after dental implant surgery?
Swelling is a totally natural part of the healing process following your procedure, and it should be expected to last for anywhere from 1 day to several weeks. 

Do you need antibiotics after dental implants?
Typically, a short prescription for antibiotics is given following an implant procedure, to prevent any potential post-operative infection. This is done on a case-by-case basis, determined by your dentist.

How should I sleep after dental implants? A typical implant procedure should not alter your sleep at all. If you are having trouble sleeping, talk to your dentist! We’re happy to help.  

Do they put you to sleep for dental implants?
You will need either anesthesia or sedation for your dental implant surgery. Your dentist can discuss the options with you and help you decide what you are more comfortable with. You can find helpful information on dental sedation and how the doctors and staff at Tuxedo Dental Group keep you safe here

Are dental implants right for you?
Dental implants just might be exactly what you’re looking for! The best way to find out is to book a consultation with one of our friendly dentists, who are experts in dental implants in Winnipeg. Call, text, email, or use our online booking form to get in touch with us.