After your dental implant surgery, it’s important to take the right steps to recover. In the days following the procedure, you will have to rest and take care of the implant to minimize discomfort and to make sure it heals quickly. Here are four tips for taking care of yourself and your implants after the surgery:
Reduce bleeding and swelling.
Minor bleeding and swelling are both common after your procedure. To control bleeding, place a gauze pad in your mouth and bite down on it for about 30 minutes. If you’re worried about excessive bleeding or if the bleeding continues for more than a day or two, contact your dentist.
You will probably experience swelling for several days after the procedure, but it should subside shortly. To reduce swelling, you can place an ice pack wrapped in a towel on your cheek. Alternate between keeping the ice pack on your cheek for 10 minutes and taking a 20 minute break. You can also reduce swelling by propping yourself up on several pillows while you sleep.
Take pain medication.
After the local anesthetic wears off, you’ll probably experience some pain, but you should be able to manage this by taking an over-the-counter pain medication like paracetamol or ibuprofen. If you experience more severe pain and over-the-counter medication doesn’t help, contact your dentist or doctor.
Be careful with food and drink.
Avoid eating any food until the local anesthetic wears off. After it wears off, avoid hot foods and drinks. In the first couple days after the procedure, you may be required to only have liquids or soft foods like yogurt or soups. Over the next few days, you can start to add solid foods into your diet again. Foods with small pieces could get stuck in the surgical area, so avoid foods like rice, nuts, and popcorn until the implant has healed. As you recover from the procedure, drink lots of fluids and eat nutritious foods, which will help your recovery.
Keep your mouth clean.
Be very gentle around the surgical area in the days following your procedure. Brush your teeth twice a day, but don’t brush vigorously around the implant. To keep your mouth clean and reduce bleeding, you can use a saltwater rinse a few times a day. Mix a teaspoon of salt with one cup of water, and gently swish it around your mouth.