After Implant Placement
Naturally, many patients considering dental implants have questions about what to expect during the recovery process. If you are unsure of what to expect or want to know more about recovery, here are a few answers to some of the more common questions we receive from our dental implant patients.
Will I Need Sutures?
Many of our oral surgical procedures require us to suture, or stitch, the gum tissue together to aid in the healing process. Typically, stitches will fall out within 3-5 days after surgery. If the stitches do not fall out or dissolve after an extended period, we may need to remove them.
Can I Drive Myself Home?
At our office, we commonly administer anesthesia before the dental implant procedure for the comfort of our patients. After you wake up from anesthesia, it will generally take about 24 hours for your attention and coordination to return to normal. Anesthesia may also cause blurred vision.
For this reason, we ask our patients to arrange a ride home with a friend, family member, or via a ridesharing platform. We do not recommend driving or operating any machinery for 24 hours after surgery.
What If I Start Bleeding?
Following the dental implant procedure, our surgeons will place sponges made of gauze over the surgery site. Dental implant patients will likely experience blood oozing from the surgical site for up to 72 hours following dental implant surgery. To alleviate further bleeding, bite down firmly on your gauze for the first hour after surgery. Avoid spitting and rinsing your mouth.
If you have had implants placed in the upper jaw or received a sinus graft procedure, you may experience nosebleeds during recovery. Do not blow your nose. Instead, blot your nose and apply pressure until the nosebleed dissipates.
When Can I Start Eating Again?
You can remove your gauze sponges and eat an hour after surgery. For the initial 24 hours following surgery, however, your diet should be restricted to liquids and soft foods. Avoid hot foods and beverages. Using straws can initially disrupt healing and dislodge the blood clots that aid in recovery, so refrain from using straws until 24 hours after surgery.
When Can I Resume My Regular Routine?
You can return to light activities as soon as you feel healthy and able. For more strenuous activities, we recommend waiting 3 days.
If you are taking narcotic pain medication, do not drink alcohol, drive, or operate heavy machinery under any circumstances.
Is Recovery Painful?
Your discomfort following surgery will vary depending on how invasive your surgery was and which procedures were required. If your surgery is minimally invasive, you will experience minimal pain and may not need prescription pain medications. In this case, over-the-counter pain medications such as Advil or Tylenol can be taken to manage and relieve pain.
Patients will generally begin to notice local anesthesia wearing off after 2-4 hours. During this time, pain and discomfort will begin to become more apparent. Be sure to take prescribed or over-the-counter pain medication with food before the anesthesia wears off, following the instructions on the label. Call our office if the pain has worsened after 5-7 days.
Pain medications, especially narcotics, can cause nausea or vomiting in some patients. Narcotics are much more likely to cause stomach upset than over-the-counter painkillers. If this occurs, reduce the dosage of prescribed medication or take over-the-counter pain medication instead, if possible.
If you continue to experience gastrointestinal issues, stop taking the medication and call our office for a different prescription.
For more information on dental implant recovery, reach out to our office at 214-363-9946.