A dental implant is directly inserted into the jawbone. As you are most likely thinking, this indeed results in some initial soreness and discomfort. The countdown until the anesthetic wears off begins as soon as you sit up. With proper post-treatment care, however, the discomfort can be managed and the healing process begins. Here are four tips to consider after receiving a dental implant.
1. Manage Pain and Swelling
Pain levels vary with dental implants. If pain medication isn’t prescribed, common over-the-counter painkillers will usually do. Prescription pills can usually be supplemented with aspirin or ibuprofen if the pain persists. The worst pain is generally within the first six hours after the anesthetic wears off. Swelling is quite normal and can take three days to peak, but it can be managed using an ice pack, or even a bag of frozen peas if there’s one sitting in the freezer.
2. Tend to Oral Hygiene
This is important every day, but even more so after a dental implant procedure. Brush your teeth gently after the surgery. Rinse with saltwater starting 24 hours later. The ideal mix is one tablespoon of salt to eight ounces of water. Two to three times a day, rinse by swishing the water gently in your mouth. Then let it drip out, and into the drain.
3. Eat Any Nourishing Food You Can
Eating may be the last thing on your mind, but it’s important to obtain nourishment. You may be advised to have just liquids, soups, yogurt, or a milkshake. Hot foods should be avoided, as should popcorn, nuts, rice, or anything else that may get stuck in the wrong place. Also, avoid straws, and gradually progress to eating solid foods, over a few days. Whatever you do, do not skip meals; the nourishment will help you heal faster and feel better.
4. Catch Up on Rest
You may wonder why bed rest is associated with oral surgery (a couch works just as well). It’s important not to do anything strenuous; lifting or bending can increase bleeding and swelling, and even pain. Standing up too quickly can cause lightheadedness, so get up slowly after lying down. You should also cut back on your regular exercise routine for three to four days, until you can restore regular fluid and caloric intake. Rest up and follow these tips, and you should be more comfortable after dental implant surgery and heal faster.