Recovering after Dental Implant Surgery

The period of recovery that follows an implant placement is crucial in laying the foundations for long-term success. How long your dental implant recovery takes and how effective it is will depend on the extent of your procedure, as well as your body's natural healing speed.

At Gulf Coast Periodontics in Victoria, TX, our team uses advanced technology to perform precise implant placement with the least amount of disruption possible. Dr. Rick Heard is an expert in the field of periodontology and provides the highest level of care for every patient. He can provide you with more specific recovery information before and after your procedure so that you are as prepared as possible.

Older woman smiling into handheld mirror
A safe recovery is essential to the success of your dental implants. 

The First 24 Hours

Expect to rest for the first day after your surgery. Any strenuous activity can increase your postoperative symptoms and make recovery more uncomfortable. During the first hour after your procedure, we recommend biting down on gauze packs placed over the surgical areas to control the bleeding. Continue to apply new gauze as necessary, about every 30 to 45 minutes, until active bleeding slows.

During the first 24 hours, you will need to pay attention to:

  • Oral hygiene: While it is important to keep your mouth clean during the healing process, you should exercise care to avoid disturbing the surgical sites.
  • Oozing or bleeding: While oozing is not uncommon for the first 24 to 48 hours, you do not want persistent, severe bleeding. Gauze and ice packs can reduce bleeding, as can sitting upright.
  • Swelling: Expect swelling for at least the first two to three days after dental implant surgery. You can minimize this symptom by applying a cold pack or ice bag to your cheeks in twenty-minute intervals during the first 24 hours.
  • Nausea: Any nausea and vomiting from anesthesia usually stops within a few hours. If it persists, try substituting your prescription pain medication for an over-the-counter pill.
  • Diet: Avoid extremely hot foods, as well as foods like rice, nuts, and popcorn which can become lodged in the surgical areas. However, do not skip meals. Eat any nourishing food which does not cause discomfort.

Dr. Heard can prescribe pain medication to manage your discomfort once the anesthetic wears off. If the prescription is not sufficient to control your pain, you can supplement the pill with an over-the-counter analgesic, such as aspirin or ibuprofen. If serious pain persists after six hours, contact us.

The most effective way to ensure a smooth recovery after implant placement is to choose a skilled and experienced dental implant surgeon.

The Second and Third Days

For most patients, the first two days after dental implant surgery are the most uncomfortable. You may experience:

  • Swelling
  • Black, blue, green, or yellow discoloration due to bruising
  • Dry lips
  • Sore throat
  • Stiff jaw muscles

After the first 24 hours, you can use salt water rinses to maintain your oral health and promote healing. However, continue to exercise caution and avoid vigorous brushing or spitting for the first few days. About 36 hours after surgery, you can start using moist heat to encourage bruising to fade.

A Smooth Recovery Process

The most effective way to ensure a smooth recovery after implant placement is to choose a skilled and experienced dental implant surgeon. At Gulf Coast Periodontics, we encourage patients to carefully follow our postoperative instructions as well and to avoid smoking during the healing process. Contact our office online or call (361) 573-1014 to speak to a member of our team today.

Dr. Rick Heard

Dr. Rick Heard

Dr. Heard is board-certified in periodontology and dental implant surgery with over 15 years of experience in the field. He is also a member of multiple prestigious organizations, including:

  • The American Academy of Periodontology
  • The American Dental Association
  • The McGuire Institute

Find out if you are a candidate for dental implants by requesting an appointment online or calling (361) 573-1014 today.

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