If you are missing a tooth or multiple teeth, there are many options to consider fro tooth replacement. Dental implants are a popular option for the replacement of missing teeth, providing a stability and hold that is unmatched by other restorative dentistry options. To place dental implants, oral surgery is required.
Dr. Fernando Garcia and the entire team at his Tijuana, Mexico practice would like to go over some of the basics when it comes to healing after oral surgery. This will give you a good idea of what the recovery process entails and how to manage post-surgical side effects.
Pain After Oral Surgery
Pain after getting dental implants is natural and to be expected. The discomfort will likely last for several days, but with improvements noticed each day as you heal.
To manage this soreness, be sure to take any prescribed pain medications as directed. When the discomfort is more tolerable, you can switch to over-the-counter pain relievers.
Swelling Around the Face
Swelling is a common issues along the portion of the face where the oral surgery was performed. The swelling tends to last about a week to two weeks, with some mild and minor swelling persisting just a bit longer afterwards.
To manage swelling, patients can apply a cold compress wrapped in a towel against their face. Keep the compress on for 20 minutes at a time, with a rest period of 20 minutes between. Repeat this pattern as necessary.
Bruising Along the Gumline
The gumline near the surgical site will be likely be bruised and discolored for a few days after oral surgery. This is a natural response to surgical procedures. Not much can be done to address this bruising, and it will have to resolve on its own. That said, the discoloration should begin to change and face by the end of a week, with improvements from day to day.
Changing Your Diet
After dental surgery, you should change your diet for several days in order to reduce pain and to prevent issues with gum sensitivity. We recommend the follows:
- Eat soft foods that do not require chewing
- Avoid foods with crumbs and crunchy bits
- Try to chew on the side of the mouth that was not operated on if possible
- Eat and drink items that are lukewarm in temperature rather than hot or cold
- Do not use drinking straws as the suction can undo clots and sutures from surgery
You will be able to return to a regular diet after given the go ahead from your dentist.
Proper Oral Hygiene
Even though your gumline will be very tender and sensitive, it’s important that you practice good oral hygiene to prevent infections and to fight tooth decay and gum disease.
You may be asked to rinse your mouth a few times a day with warm salt water to keep your mouth sterile. You should continue to brush your teeth twice a day and floss once a day, making modifications to your oral hygiene routine as directed by your dentist.
Avoid Tobacco Products and Alcohol
Smoking and the use of chewing tobacco can have a negative impact on healing times and make infection more likely. The same is true with consuming alcoholic beverages. Patients should refrain from tobacco as well as alcohol as they recover from oral surgery.
Returning to Regular Activities
While resting and avoiding strenuous physical activities is important in the first days after getting dental implants placed, you will be able to gradually return to normal activities. Do not rush things, and make sure to consult your oral surgeon and your dentist about when you can return to heavy exercise, using drinking straws, and so forth.
Learn More About Oral Surgery
For more information about getting dental implants and what the oral surgery process entails, we encourage you to contact an experienced dental surgeon. We will help you have a healthy smile again. You can reach our office in Tijuana by phone at (664) 634-1974, and our San Diego office at (877) 639-1449.