After Implant Placement
Receiving dental implants is a journey that can take some time if you have had a bone graft procedure performed. Once the implants are placed into the jawbone you are almost done, but there is a recovery and bonding process before you are able to have your teeth fitted. At East Lyme Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery we understand how much of a commitment the overall process takes and we are here for you every step of the way. We will be explaining what you can expect after implant placement.
The First 4 Days
The first couple of days after surgery are the most difficult, but knowing how to handle the symptoms will make your days easier. The first thing we can say is that you should have someone to take you home after surgery as the anesthetics will not have completely worn off. Ideally, they should stay with you for the first day or two if possible.
Bleeding and Discomfort
You will experience some bleeding from the surgical site, especially for the first hour - this is normal and not something to worry about. Keeping plenty of gauze on hand and applying it to the area while biting down will help to stop the bleeding - keep doing this as needed. Avoid doing anything that will further stimulate the blood flow, such as spitting and rinsing your mouth. You will also experience discomfort after the numbness has worn off - take pain medication as needed to cope.
Swelling and bruising is to be expected for the first 4 days. Applying an ice pack to the side where the surgery occured will help keep swelling and discomfort under control - switching sides every 30 minutes if you have had both sides of your mouth under surgery.
After the first 24 hours you can return to gently brushing your teeth, but do not use any mouthwash or hydrogen peroxide - instead rinse with saltwater. Good oral hygiene is a must, especially after surgery when your mouth is more vulnerable to bacteria.
Limit physical activity as much as you can to avoid accidentally damaging the surgical site and avoid driving or other dangerous tasks that require concentration. The pain medication will affect your awareness and response time.
You will be instructed to be on a liquid diet for the first 6 hours to avoid chewing until the numbness has worn off. Foods such as mashed potatoes, milkshakes, yogurts, and pureed soups are all excellent options during this time. After 6 hours or when the numbness has worn off, you may incorporate soft foods such as pasta and eggs - just be sure to be careful when chewing and try to avoid placing a lot of pressure on the side where surgery has taken place.
What To Expect The Following Months
During the next 3-6 months, you will be recovering as the jawbone is bonding with the implants. Antibiotic treatment is required after surgery to prevent the area around the implants from getting infected. You will be given medication with instructions on how often to take it. You will also be scheduled for checkups to monitor how you are doing up until the implants have fully completed the bonding process.
At East Lyme Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery we are here to help, if you would like to make an appointment with us or ask us any questions, you can call our office at (860) 934-7809.