Once you make the decision to have dental implants, you’ll be anxious to begin the process so you can enjoy the look and function of a full set of teeth. Your first step involves dental implant surgery. During this procedure, the dentist inserts the artificial tooth root into your jawbone. After placement, the tooth root becomes fused to the bone over a period of months, establishing a firm, secure base for the artificial tooth, or crown.
You’ll feel less anxious about your surgical outcomes when you know you’re in good hands. Dental implant specialist Benedict Kim, DDS of A Caring Dental Group in Cleveland, Ohio has over 20 years’ experience in helping patients achieve natural-looking and fully functional dental implants. Dr. Kim’s expertise ensures that your dental implant surgery goes as smoothly as possible so you’ll get the best results from your replacement teeth.
You can help ensure proper healing and bone growth by carefully following the instructions you receive after surgery. Find out what to expect by reading our answers to some of our patients’ most commonly asked questions about dental implant surgery,
What can I expect after dental implant surgery?
The outcomes you experience after dental implant surgery can vary depending on your individual procedure. The effects of surgery will depend on the number of implants inserted, their locations, and your overall oral and general health.
You’ll have the most discomfort during the 24 hours immediately after surgery. You can expect the following symptoms within the first days:
- Pain and swelling at the implant site
- Nausea and vomiting
- Swelling and bruising around the mouth, cheeks, and eyes
What can I do to treat my symptoms after dental implant surgery?
You can take these steps to feel better and encourage healing after dental implant surgery:
- Use your prescribed medication as directed
- Take acetaminophen and/or ibuprofen as directed
- Apply ice to the cheek outside your implant site to reduce pain and swelling
- Avoid using a straw, spitting, rinsing, or smoking, all of which can loosen the blood clots and interfere with healing
- Use warm salt water to rinse and clean your mouth
- Begin brushing and rinsing 24 hours after surgery, avoiding the surgery site
- Avoid heavy lifting and strenuous activity immediately after surgery
- Get plenty of rest
When can I eat after dental implant surgery?
The effects of anesthesia and pain medication may delay your appetite immediately after dental implant surgery. You can resume eating as soon as you feel hungry.
You should restrict your diet, though, to soft foods that won’t disrupt the implant site or dislodge the tooth root before it fuses to your jawbone. Some safe options to try after dental implant surgery include:
- Jello and pudding
- Yogurt, milkshakes, and other non-frozen dairy products
- Boiled or mashed potatoes
- Bananas, melons, and other soft fruits
- Muffins without nuts or seeds
You should also drink plenty of water, whether or not you feel like eating. Water helps you stay hydrated, which can strengthen your immunity to infections and expedite your recovery.
What foods should I avoid after dental implant surgery?
In the weeks immediately following dental implant surgery, it’s important to avoid foods that can interfere with osseointegration, the process by which your implant fuses to your jawbone. You should avoid foods that could cause the implant to dislodge before it’s properly attached.
You can prevent interfering with your recovery by avoiding the following:
- Spicy foods that can irritate your incision
- Alcoholic beverages
- Extremely hot or cold foods and drinks
- Sticky or chewy foods, including gum
- Crunchy foods like chips, cookies, nuts, and crackers
- Sugary or acidic items, including candy, soft drinks, citrus, and tomatoes
How do I take care of my dental implants while waiting for my crowns?
After your surgery, you may have to wait up to six months before your dental implant sufficiently bonds to your jawbone and becomes ready for the crown. During that time, follow these strategies to ensure the site remains healthy:
- Brush and floss daily
- Keep your gums clean to prevent bacteria from growing at the surgery site
- Quit smoking or using tobacco products, which can damage your gums
- Ask about using a mouthguard if you grind your teeth
If you have missing or damaged teeth, find out if dental implant surgery can restore the appearance and function of your natural teeth. Book online or call our office at 216-230-9094 to schedule a consultation with Dr. Kim today.