What to Expect After Dental Implant Surgery: 8 Recovery Tips

The increased availability of quality dental implants is proving to be a total game changer for many people who have long suffered from dental problems. A long-term and reliable solution, dental implants can truly improve your quality of life and act as a real answer to your dental tribulations.

That being said, having to undergo any type of surgery can be daunting. Although the dental implant surgery has become more routine in recent years, knowing what to expect can certainly help to calm any nerves. If you or a loved one will soon be having dental implant surgery, here is an overview of what to expect after dental implant surgery:

1. Keep a positive attitude after dental implant surgery

You can probably expect a lot of anxiety after dental implant surgery. Maybe the first thing you should do to prepare yourself for dental surgery is to relax a little bit. It is normal for people to get nervous, but you should be aware that dental implant surgery is very safe and that most patients have no real complications from it at all.

Be mindful of the fact that stress and anxiety can make it harder for the body to heal, so try to go in for your procedure assuming the best.

2. Prepare for the immediate side effects of dental implant surgery

Part of maintaining a positive attitude does have to do with avoiding unpleasant surprises though. It is wise to expect some side effects after the dental implant surgery, although they should be minor. The most common side effect is pain.

Although an anesthesia is used during the surgery to numb the area completely, there is likely to be some discomfort over the following days, as sensation returned to the area. Your dentist should tell you what to expect and provide some guidance regarding what kind of over-the-counter medications can help to alleviate the symptoms.

3. Have a plan to keep yourself comfortable

One note to keep in mind regarding the kind of painkillers that you should take is that Aspirin can increase the risk of bleeding. So if you’re getting something over the counter, be sure to look for a pain-relieving medication that does not contain Aspirin.

It is also possible that your dentist will prescribe you a medication, which may be more effective than what you would be able to get over the counter.

4. Be aware that there may be temporary aesthetic concerns

Another natural expectation after dental implant surgery is the swelling. It should occur primarily around the incision site and will generally dissipate on its own over the course of a few days. In the meantime, an ice pack wrapped in cloth is probably your best bet to help reduce its severity.

It is also not unusual to see some bruising after surgery. This could be on your cheeks or inside of your mouth as well. They will usually go away quickly, but you shouldn’t plan on looking your best immediately after getting your dental implants.

5. Respond quickly if something seems to be wrong

Despite the fact that serious complications are extremely rare, it is important to still appreciate that you’re having an invasive procedure and that everybody responds differently. If an infection does develop, it should be treated as soon as possible, or it could spread to other parts of the body.

Most infections are easily treated with antibiotics. Other rare but possible complications of dental implant surgery include nerve damage and sinus problems.

6. Have reasonable expectations for your dental implant recovery

Your dentist will likely give you a list of instructions of what to expect after dental implant recovery, which might vary a bit depending on your situation. Tobacco should be avoided, and you should follow a special diet (more on that below). It is important to attend all of your follow-up appointments to ensure that you’re recovering properly and have a chance to discuss any questions you might have with your dentist.

7. Know what foods to eat, and which ones to avoid

Following the proper diet is another key part of a swift recovery after a dental implant surgery. You will need to avoid eating foods that could irritate the incision site, including hot and spicy foods, alcohol, anything too chewy or sticky, and foods with small pieces that could easily get stuck.

Things like applesauce, warm broth-based soups, mashed potatoes, yogurt and instant oatmeal are all ideal recovery foods which will provide you with adequate nutrition.

8. Be prepared to rest and let your body recover

Any vigorous activity or exercise should be mostly avoided until you’ve healed completely. Keep in mind that your body is in recovery mode and needs to rest. You should try to avoid touching the surgical area as much as possible and just simply let nature do its work. You can use warm saltwater to keep your mouth clean but should avoid directly brushing the incision area.