Heal Faster with These 5 Dental Implant Recovery Tips
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.