Dental implants are considered a complex dental device. They are paired with a procedure that takes several months of healing after the initial surgery is complete. During this healing period, it’s important to know the right aftercare steps and the normal side effects that come with oral surgery, not just dental implants.
You’ve finally got the smile you’ve dreamed of, now is the time to start managing it. Once the implants are fully healed, you’ll be glad to know that they don’t require any special care compared to natural teeth. Consider this helpful information after receiving dental implants in Reston.
Common Symptoms After Implant Surgery
Complications caused by dental implants are extremely rare, however it is important that you understand the common side effects that come with surgery. For example, soreness in the jaw is common, whether it’s for dental implants or any other surgery. While all pain is numbed during surgery, you’ll need to take over-the-counter or prescription medications to manage it, depending on what the dentist recommends. If you choose over-the-counter medications, avoid aspirin as this can increase the risk of bleeding.
Another common symptom is swelling, which is the body’s natural reaction to surgery. You can use a cold compress in 20-minute intervals to reduce this, however it will typically go away on its own. Additionally, you may notice bruising around your cheeks as well as internal bruising.
If you notice symptoms related to an infection, including high fever, red or puffy gums around the implant, chronic bad breath and looseness of the implant, get to the dentist as soon as possible.
Recommended Foods to Eat After Surgery
There are definitely certain foods you need to avoid immediately following implant surgery. These include foods and beverages that are:
- Spicy or acidic
- Chewy or sticky
- Capable of easily getting caught in between teeth (i.e. popcorn, nuts, chips, crackers, candy)
With that in mind, there are still many foods you can eat without worry. Applesauce and other crushed fruits are high in nutritional value while still being safe to consume. Broth-based meals like soup and stew contain soft-cooked meats and veggies. Mashed potatoes are high in fiber, especially if you leave the skins on. Yogurt and instant oatmeal can help you satisfy your sweet tooth while still gaining essential nutrients. Just make sure to wait a few days after surgery before eating oats to prevent irritating the implant site.
Essential Aftercare Tips to Know
The healing period can take as long as three to six months, so it’s important to establish daily aftercare habits. Consider the following to help you get started:
- Avoid touching the implant site. Do not brush or floss the incision site until the dentist tells you it has healed enough.
- Use warm salt water to keep your mouth clean. Mix anywhere from ¼ to 1 teaspoon of salt with eight ounces of water. Rinse your mouth out gently and spit, making sure not to do so forcefully. Repeat the process two to three times a day.
- Avoid strenuous exercise until the implant has sufficiently healed. Practice low-impact exercise like yoga, stretching, light cardio or minimal strength training to improve blood circulation and healing.
Looking for more aftercare tips? Ask the implant dentist in Reston your question during your scheduled follow-up appointment!