Dental implants are an excellent tooth replacement option. Some people look at their dental implant appointment with apprehension. Mostly, they tend to be worried about the recovery period, how they'll feel as they heal, and what to expect. You can ask your dentist any questions you might have about these topics. However, you may also benefit from reviewing the basic timeline below. This is a general timeline, and your exact healing sequence might be slightly different.
The Day of Surgery
Your dentist will generally send you home when the local anesthetic is still active. Slowly, you will regain feeling in your mouth. Make sure you take a dose of the prescribed pain reliever as soon as you get home so that it is active when the feeling returns to your mouth and gums. You can eat really soft foods this day, but most people stick to liquids and purees, such as applesauce, smoothies, and soups.
The Day After Surgery
The day after surgery, your pain level will be at its worst. Your mouth may also be swollen. Both of these symptoms can be managed with NSAID pain relievers and saltwater rinses. Brush your teeth, but don't brush the implant site directly. You can eat soft foods; just chew on the opposite side from the implants.
One Week After Surgery
By one week post-surgery, your pain should be greatly reduced. Most people find they no longer need to take pain relievers at this stage, although you should continue using saltwater rinses to keep the implant site clean and free from infection. You can start incorporating foods that need a little more chewing, such as soft chicken, fish, and pasta.
Two Weeks After Surgery
By week two, you should feel pretty normal. The implant site may still be a little sore if you press on it, but not otherwise. Your stitches should be mostly dissolved, and your dentist will likely tell you to stop the saltwater rinses. You can likely resume your normal diet at this time. Just use caution if you eat anything overly crunchy; don't chew it on the side of the implant.
Knowing what to expect as you heal can make getting dental implants far less cumbersome. Talk to your dentist if you have questions about this timeline or are wondering how your own healing might compare. They know your mouth best and can offer more personalized advice.
For more information about dental implants, contact a dentist.