Have you decided to restore your smile with dental implants? Then you probably already know about the many benefits of implants, including their maximum stability and natural appearance. However, while you are busy dreaming of your beautiful future smile, don’t forget to plan for the first few days after your implant placement procedure. Oh, you hadn’t thought that far ahead? Don’t worry! An implant dentist in Marietta, OH answers some of the most common questions regarding implant aftercare below.
Can I Drive Home?
Dental implant surgery often involves local anesthesia or sedation dentistry. Because the effects of dental sedation usually take some time to completely wear off, it is not safe for you to get behind the wheel immediately after your appointment. Instead, arrange for a friend or family member to drive you home. Plan on waiting approximately 24 hours after implant placement surgery before driving on your own or operating heavy machinery.
Will I Feel Any Pain or Swelling?
Some mild pain and facial swelling are normal during the first few days after an implant placement. However, taking over-the-counter painkillers or prescription pain medication (if your dentist has prescribed it) can help reduce any discomfort. In addition, holding an ice pack to your cheek on the side of your face where the implant was placed can help reduce swelling during the first 24 hours.
What Can I Eat?
For the first day following implant placement, you will want to go easy and stick to eating soft foods. Mashed potatoes, yogurt, creamy soup, apple sauce and pudding are all great examples of delicious foods that do not require too much chewing. In addition, be sure not to drink through a straw for the first 24 hours following surgery. Doing so could dislodge the blood clot on the surgery site and delay healing.
Can I Smoke?
No! Smoking tobacco can significantly increase the risk that your dental implant will fail. The nicotine in tobacco reduces blood flow, which can slow down the healing process and interfere with osseointegration. If your dental implant does not fuse with the surrounding jawbone, it will not be strong enough to support a new artificial tooth.
Can I Brush My Teeth?
Keeping your teeth and mouth clean after oral surgery is very important. You can resume normal brushing 24 hours after surgery, but be careful to avoid any sutures or the implant itself. Gently rinsing your mouth every so often with lukewarm saltwater is also recommended to prevent infection.
If you have more questions about what to expect after dental implant placement – don’t worry! Your implant dentist in Marietta, OH will give you thorough aftercare instructions on the day of the procedure.
About the Author
A proud Navy veteran, Dr. Jeff Lee continues to serve his community every day by providing quality oral care in the Muskingum Valley. Dr. Lee is a talented oral surgeon who earned his Master of Science degree at The Ohio State University and completed a four-year residency in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery at the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. For more information on every step of the dental implant process, visit Dr. Lee’s website or call 740-432-8768.