Answers to 5 Common Questions About the Dental Implant Post-Op Experience

May 15, 2024

Filed under: Uncategorized — drkoo @ 2:33 pm
Dentist and patient standing in treatment room, engaged in conversation

If you are a little nervous about the prospect of undergoing dental implant surgery, that is completely understandable. One thing you can do to feel more confident about the road ahead is to make sure you are well-informed about what to expect as you are recovering. Here are answers to some common questions about the dental implant post-op experience:

How Long Does Recovery Take?

People heal at different rates, depending on their age, health, and details of their surgery. Generally speaking, the soft tissue at the dental implant sites is healed within just a few weeks. The bone takes longer to recover; it can be 3 – 4 months or more before it forms a strong bond with the implants. However, you should not notice any additional soreness or discomfort as the bone is healing.

How Much Pain Will I Be In?

Some soreness, swelling, and general discomfort are to be expected during the initial part of your recovery period. Most patients find that they can minimize any unpleasantness by getting plenty of rest, taking appropriate doses of pain medication, and following other post-op instructions. Severe pain is a red flag that indicates you should call your oral surgeon right away.

What Will I Be Able to Eat?

At first, you should consume a no-chew diet, which can include things like brothy soups, smoothies (without seeds), pudding, mashed potatoes, and even ice cream. As you heal, you can gradually incorporate fork-tender foods, such as scrambled eggs, meatloaf, and pasta. Once the soft tissue at your surgical sites heals, you can resume fairly normal eating habits (as long as you have enough natural teeth left to help you chew comfortably).

How Soon Will I Get My New Teeth?

With some types of dental implant procedures, such as All-on-4, prosthetic teeth are immediately attached to the implants. Although you will not achieve full bite strength right away, you will still be able to smile with confidence. With other implant procedures, there is a waiting period of a few months between the dental implant surgery and placement of a crown, bridge, or denture. This gives the bone adequate time to heal and bond with the implants.

When Can I Resume Work and Other Normal Activities?

Most people are able to return to work within a day or two of their surgery. However, if your job requires a lot of physical activity, you may need to take it easy for up to a whole week. You should not resume driving until you are no longer under the influence of powerful pain medications (if your doctor prescribes such a medication for you).

Do you have other questions about the dental implant post-op experience that are not touched on in this article? Your oral surgery team will be happy to speak with you!

Meet the Practice

Drs. Steve Koo, Thomas Weil, and William Shepard are the board-certified oral surgeons at Piney Point Dental Implant Center. They combine their impressive skills with advanced technology with the goal of helping every patient to enjoy successful treatment and a positive overall experience. If you are curious about anything related to the dental implant procedure, our team would be pleased to speak with you. Contact our Houston office at 713-597-7340.

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