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Heal Faster with These 5 Dental Implant Recovery Tips By Andrew Mortensen, DDS on March 28, 2022

A cross-sectional image of a dental implant in the upper jaw holding a dental crown.Dental implants are a superior tooth-replacement option. These surgically-implanted posts provide a sturdy anchor onto which a realistic restoration, like a dental crown or dentures, can rest. The result is a natural-looking smile that enhances your appearance and restores your regular speaking and chewing function.

Our Fountain Valley, CA, dentist, Dr. Andrew G. Mortensen, carefully plans dental implant treatment to meet each patient’s unique needs. Here are five dental implant recovery tips so you can heal better and faster.

Tip #1: Get Plenty of Rest

Following your dental implant procedure, it’s important to reduce your activity level and get plenty of rest. Our Fountain Valley dental team recommends limiting your usual activity for two days after implant surgery.

After two days, patients may slowly start incorporating their regular activities back into their lifestyles. If pain, swelling, and bleeding worsen, then pull back on those activities and call our team immediately.

Tip #2: Stay Hydrated, but Ditch the Straws

Hydration plays a major role in wound healing. A well-hydrated body can send oxygen-rich blood to damaged areas, which helps encourage proper healing. When the body is dehydrated, however, oxygen-rich blood struggles to reach damaged areas. This can delay the healing process and lead to complications.

Staying adequately hydrated helps you heal faster, but drinking fluids from a straw creates a vacuum in the oral cavity. This vacuum can pull a newly-formed blood clot from the surgical site, which can prolong bleeding and lead to infection. Instead, gently sip or spoon drinks into your mouth.

Tip #3: Avoid Certain Foods and Behaviors

Patients should avoid extremely hard, crunchy, or chewy foods for the first week following dental implant surgery. Instead, reach for softer, easier-to-chew foods such as:

  • Protein shakes and smoothies
  • Mashed potatoes
  • Soft or cooked fruits and veggies
  • Cooked pasta
  • Scrambled eggs

Many patients enjoy the anti-inflammatory properties of cold treats, like popsicles and ice cream, after dental implant surgery. While these tasty treats may reduce swelling, they should still be consumed in moderation to prevent cavities and oral infections. Ice packs wrapped in towels and placed against your face can reduce swelling just as well and without harming your remaining teeth.

Furthermore, patients should avoid damaging behaviors after dental implant surgery, like:

  • Fingernail biting
  • Ice chewing
  • Opening packages with the teeth

Tip #4: Don’t Smoke or Drink Alcohol

Smoking creates a vacuum in the mouth similar to drinking through a straw, and alcohol thins the blood. The nicotine in cigarettes can also impede healing. The longer a wound takes to heal, the more opportunity there is for developing complications.

Tip #5: Continue Brushing, Flossing, and Rinsing

Keeping the mouth and surgical site clean is vital to a successful dental implant surgery. Patients should regularly rinse with warm saltwater and continue gently brushing and flossing throughout the recovery process to prevent infection and cavities.

Schedule a Dental Implant Consultation Today

If you’re ready to discuss dental implants with our Fountain Valley dentist, then schedule your consultation now. New and existing patients can conveniently reach our team online here, or they may call us (714) 964-4183.

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Andrew G. Mortensen, DDS

Andrew G. Mortensen, DDS

Dr. Andrew Mortensen is a top-rated dentist with training from the world-famous Las Vegas Institute. His exceptional care and expertise have earned him hundreds of 5-star reviews, and he is an accredited member of the:

  • American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry
  • American Dental Association
  • California Dental Association
  • Orange County Dental Society 

Ready to schedule a consultation at our Huntington Beach dental practice? Request an appointment online or call us at (714) 964-4183.

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"I am proud to have served patients in our community. Through continuing education and state-of-the-art equipment, we are able to offer you and your family the high level of care you're looking for." Andrew G. Mortensen, D.D.S.

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