After Implant Placement
Dental implants are a modern treatment that is used to replace missing teeth. This treatment requires a surgical procedure in which small titanium posts are placed into your jawbone. The bone then fuses to the posts, integrating them into your jaw and turning them into stable roots that are used to provide support for your replacement teeth. At Malmquist Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, we provide many types of dental implant solutions to meet a variety of different needs. Here is what you can expect after your implants have been placed.
Before Going Home
Once your implant posts have been placed, and your gums sutured closed, temporary teeth will be set into place. These temporary teeth, which may be fixed or removable, are meant to be used during the recovery process until you have fully healed from surgery. Before you go home, you will be provided with aftercare instructions. These instructions will help you to deal with common post-surgical issues, as well as advice on what to eat, what to avoid doing, and how to take care of your mouth so that you heal properly. Following your instructions is important for reducing your risk for complications such as infections or implant failure.
Pain and Swelling after Implant Placement
Pain and swelling are both very common following implant surgery. Pain can often be managed with over the counter pain relievers. Take these medications as directed on the bottle. If your pain requires something stronger, we can also provide a prescription for medication. Take these medications only as directed.
For swelling, ice is recommended during the first 24 hours. Wrap an ice pack in a towel and hold it against the side of your face for 20 minutes. Wait 20 minutes and repeat as often as necessary. This will help to limit the amount of swelling you experience. Swelling typically peaks 48 to 72 hours after surgery. After 48 hours, moist heat is recommended. Hold your heat source, making sure it is not too hot, against your face for 15 minutes and leave it off for 15 minutes. Repeat as often as you feel necessary. Heat will help swelling to dissipate faster.
The first few days you will be recommended to eat a diet of liquid and pureed foods, such as applesauce, yogurt, smoothies, broths, and mashed potatoes. After a few days, you can begin eating soft foods that are easy to chew. Avoid eating anything hard, crunchy, sticky or chewy. Do not eat anything too hot or spicy, as these types of foods can irritate surgical sites. Over time, you can gradually begin reintroducing your favorite foods. During your recovery period, it is important that you eat a healthy, well-balanced diet so that you get the nutrition you need to heal properly.
Oral hygiene is essential for eliminating bacteria from your mouth and protecting your surgical sites from infections. However, you will need to take great care when it comes to your oral care habits. You can begin brushing your teeth 24 hours after your surgery. Be very careful around surgical sites. Do not poke or prod at them. Use a salt water solution to rinse your mouth several times a day to wash away food particles and kill bacteria.
Once You Have Finished Healing
During your recovery, you will have several follow up appointments so that we can monitor your healing and make sure that there are no complications. Once you have fully healed, we will begin the process of placing your final dental restorations. This process typically requires two appointments. At the first appointment, your temporary teeth are removed, and the abutments are placed. We then take impressions of your mouth, which are used to design and create your final replacement teeth. At your second visit, your new teeth are checked for fit and secured into place on your implant posts.
With proper healing, your jawbone will fuse to the implant posts so that they can provide secure support for your replacement teeth and provide you with a long-term solution for tooth loss. If you have any questions or concerns about what to expect after implant placement, contact Malmquist Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery at (503) 446-6776 today.