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What’s Recovery from Dental Implant Surgery Like?

What’s Recovery from Dental Implant Surgery Like?

Whether you’re missing one tooth or several, dental implants are a fantastic way to restore your smile. We use them to support single tooth prosthetics, bridges and even dentures. If you’re scheduled to get dental implants at our Phoenix offices, we want you to be comfortable with the process from start to finish. Find out what to expect and how to prepare for your big day.

dental implants phoenixDay 1: In the Office

Immediately after your surgery, your surgeon will place gauze packs over the implant areas to help absorb and control bleeding. You’ll be instructed to bite firmly on the gauze for 30 to 60 minutes. Your face and tongue will be numb and stay that way for a few hours.

Your surgeon will make sure you have and understand your discharge instructions. You’ll be given slips for any prescriptions that you may need including any pain management, anti-inflammatory and antibiotic medication.

For patients that experience severe anxiety during oral surgery, we can arrange nitrous oxide anesthesia while you get dental implants at our Phoenix offices. If you choose nitrous oxide, you’ll be groggy after surgery and need a ride home. You’ll also need to take time off from work or arrange for rides if you’re taking any narcotic pain medication during recovery.

Day 1 and 2: What’s Normal

Right after you arrive home, you may need to change your gauze pack a few times before the bleeding slows. If the bleeding seems stubborn, try biting a cold, damp tea bag. Black tea contains tannic acid, an astringent agent that constricts blood vessels. Bite the tea bag for 30 minutes to stem moderate bleeding. The implant sites may continue to ooze blood for up to 48 hours after surgery.

There are a few common sources of discomfort during the first 48 hours:

  • Swelling: Swelling usually peaks in 48 hours. Cold packs are the best way to bring it down. Apply the cold pack for 10 to 20 minutes, one per hour. Over-icing can slow healing, so watch your timing and don’t doze off on a cold pack.
  • Sore Throats and Painful Swallowing: Treat yourself to a smoothie or some soft serve ice cream.
  • Lightheadedness: Be careful when standing up. Drink plenty of fluids.
  • Nausea: Stop all food and liquid intake for an hour. Then, start sipping small amounts of tea or flat ginger ale. Resume normal liquid intake if the nausea subsides.
  • Chapped Lips: Have plenty of lip balm handy

Avoid straws, smoking, vaping, hard candy, spitting and any other sucking motions for several days after surgery. Suction can increasing bleeding. You should also avoid alcohol and tobacco products, which irritate the wound sites. Resist the urge to examine and explore your surgical sites. You can accidentally tear stitches or dislodge blood clots.

On the first day, limit your diet by avoiding:

  • Hot food and drinks
  • Fizzy drinks
  • Chewing while your tongue is still numb
  • Crunchy, chewy, spicy and acidic foods

Your dentist may give you temporary teeth to wear while you heal. You may need to remove them when you eat to avoid putting pressure on your healing implant sites. If you’re unsure what you can eat after getting dental implants, our Phoenix offices are happy to answer your questions.

Day 3 and Beyond: What’s Normal

We recommend staying with a soft, gentle diet for 10 to 14 days after implant procedures. Patients that stick with a soft, nutritious diet tend to heal faster and experience less discomfort. Make sure you drink plenty of water.

We recommend foods like:

  • Small pasta, like macaroni
  • Baked or mashes potatoes
  • Jell-O and pudding
  • Soups and broth
  • Cooked cereals like cream of wheat
  • Ground beef or flaked fish

On day three, you can switch from cold to warm compresses. Muscle stiffness and soreness is common around the surgical sites. You might have difficulty opening your jaw, but it will resolve itself as you heal.

Maintain proper oral hygiene by:

  • Avoiding brushing over your surgical sites
  • Rinse gently
  • Don’t use alcohol-based mouthwashes
  • Follow any instructions your dentist gives you about regular rinses, like hourly or after meal

It’s important to take your full course of antibiotics as directed. Stopping early puts you at risk for infection even if you’re healing beautifully. If you experience any abnormal symptoms after getting dental implants, our Phoenix is here to help. Call us immediately if you heavy bleeding, signs of infection or severe discomfort.

Our patients’ comfort is our top priority. To get your questions answered or to schedule a consultation, call Sky Dental Alliance today.




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    5259 W. Indian School Rd.
    Suite 110
    Phoenix, AZ, 85031

    (623) 849-1000

  • Desert Sky Dental

    7620 W. Thomas Rd.
    Suite 102
    Phoenix, AZ 85033

    (602) 535-2682

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