After Implant Placement
Many patients have questions about what to expect during the recovery period after receiving dental implants, so here are some answers to some of the more common questions.
Will I need Sutures?
We suture (stitch) the tissue together to aid healing in many of our oral surgical procedures. These stitches usually fall out within 3 to 5 days after surgery. Those that don’t fall out by then will either dissolve over a longer period, or we’ll need to remove them.
Can I Drive Myself Home?
If we used anesthesia to make you unconscious for the duration of the treatment, it will take a while for your attention and coordination to return to normal levels. The anesthesia may also cause blurred vision. Therefore, we don’t recommend driving or operating machinery for 24 hours following surgery. Arrange a ride with a friend or family member beforehand.
What if I start Bleeding?
It’s common to experience blood oozing from the surgical site for up to 72 hours after dental implant surgery. For this reason, Dr. Wallace and Dr. Gannon place sponges made of gauze over the site of surgery. Bite down on them firmly during the first hour after surgery to alleviate bleeding. Avoid spitting and rinsing, which causes more bleeding.
Nosebleeds are common if you have had implants placed in the upper jaw or a sinus graft procedure. If this happens, blot and apply pressure. Do not blow your nose.
When can I Start Eating Again?
After one hour has elapsed following surgery, you can remove the gauze sponges and eat. For the first 24 hours after surgery, only consume soft foods and avoid hot foods and beverages. Using a straw can also cause bleeding, so refrain from doing this for 24 hours after surgery.
When can I Resume my Regular Routine?
As soon as you feel healthy enough, you can return to light activities. You should wait about 3 days before going back to strenuous activities. Do not undertake activities that need concentration (i.e., driving) while taking narcotic pain medication.
Is the Recovery Period Painful?
The discomfort levels you’ll experience after surgery will depend on how invasive the surgery was. Dr. Wallace and Dr. Gannon won’t give you a prescription for pain medication if the amount of discomfort you’ll experience is minor. Over-the-counter pain medications like Tylenol or Advil should relieve what little pain you do experience.
After 2 to 4 hours, the local anesthetic used during surgery will start wearing off, and you’ll start experiencing discomfort. Before this happens and after eating, take the first dose of the prescribed or over-the-counter pain medication. Follow the instructions on the label and call us if the pain has worsened after 5 to 7 days.
Pain medications sometimes cause nausea or vomiting in some patients. If you experience this, try eating before taking the medication or reduce the dosage. Narcotics cause more GI upset than over-the-counter medications, so try over-the-counter medicine if narcotics are giving you trouble.
If the illness persists, stop taking the medication and call us so we can prescribe something else. Under no circumstances consume alcoholic beverages, drive a motor vehicle, or operate heavy machinery while taking prescription pain medication.
Read more about dental implant care.
For more information, please contact our office at 214-363-9946.