Dental implants are an excellent option for individuals who are missing teeth. While traditional dentures are certainly a viable option to replace missing teeth, they can pose complications. For example, they may cause pain, it can be difficult to speak and eat certain foods, and successfully maintaining oral hygiene can be a challenge.
Dental implants, on the other hand, are a permanent solution to missing teeth. An artificial root is affixed directly to the jawbone, providing a stable foundation that an artificial tooth can be attached to. The result is a replacement tooth that doesn't wiggle, impact the way you speak, make it challenging to eat or impede oral hygiene.
If you dental implants are an option that you are considering, here's a look at what you can expect the week after the implant is installed.
Arrange for Transportation
If you are going to be under sedation during the surgery, arrange for transportation to bring home in advance. When coming out of sedation, many people are loopy and/or experience nausea. Arrange for someone to drive you home before the surgery so that you are prepared to arrive at home safely.
You may experience some bleeding following the surgery. This is natural, as your gums will be manipulated during the surgery. Biting down on gauze will help to ease this bleeding.
Clear your calendar immediately after the surgery. Plan to rest for the remainder of the day. You may experience some pain, which your oral surgeon can prescribe pain medication for. Apply an ice pack to your face to reduce pain and swelling.
While most patients are able to return to work or school the following day, you are advised to keep a modified schedule with light activity. Many people do experience some pain and swelling up to 10 days after the surgery, and doing strenuous activities can perpetuate that pain and swelling. With this in mind, it is wise to make preparations for recovery beforehand.
Modify Your Diet
You should also modify your diet in the days following the surgery. As previously mentioned, you may experience pain up to 10 days post-surgery, which can make it difficult to eat certain foods. Stock up on foods that don't require much – if any – chewing; pudding, yogurt, applesauce and soups, for example. Meats, hard vegetables, crackers, hard breads (bagels, etc) should definitely not be on the menu the first few days after surgery.
Your oral surgeon will be happy to answer any and all questions that you may have about your surgery, so don't be afraid to ask. The better prepared you are, the easier and the more successful your dental implant surgery will be. Contact a professional like Joe Rosenberg, DDS for more information.