How Long After Dental Implant Surgery Can You Eat?

How Long After Dental Implant Surgery Can You Eat?

Aug 01, 2022

What Are Dental Implants?

They are small screw-like metal posts that replace missing teeth in dentistry. Dental implants feature titanium, a biocompatible metal that can integrate well with natural bone tissue. The implants are crucial in offering permanent solutions to tooth loss, typically replacing the roots and crowns of teeth.

Is Surgery a Must?

A surgical procedure is the only way to install dental implants near you. The dentist then drills the jawbone, creating room for the metal post. After positioning the titanium metal post in your jaw bone, the dentist near you will suture your gums to hold the implant in place.

However, you still need a different procedure to crown the implant. The crowning process is the least complicated bit of the treatment. To complete your procedure, the dentist will use dental cement to bond a porcelain crown to the existing implant.

Is the Surgery Painful?

The implantation procedure is invasive. Therefore, you should anticipate some pain and discomfort. Our dentists at Complete Health Dentistry of the Emerald Coast use local anesthesia to numb your mouth before any dental work. Besides sedation dentistry, they will relax your mind and body during your treatment.

How Long Will the Recovery Period Take?

Most procedures for dental implants in Shalimar, FL, take about three months to achieve full recovery. The period is necessary to ensure the titanium metal post integrates well with your natural bone tissue. However, some patients heal faster and others slower than three months.

What Happens the First 12 Hours After a Dental Implant Surgery?

The moments immediately after your surgery will require significant adjustments on your part. Some of the things to anticipate are:

  • Numbness can continue for the next 6 hours after your surgery. However, it should wear out on its own.
  • Take your pain medication as your dentist prescribes – you will need to manage your pain once the numbing wears off.
  • Change the gauze after every few hours – the bleeding should slow down after a while.
  • Expect to feel sore and swollen for the first 24 hours post-surgery.

How Long Must You Wait Before Eating?

Just because the recovery period takes three months does not mean you will have to starve that long. Ideally, you should be able to eat after the first 6-12 hours post-treatment. It does not mean that you will have optimal functionality. Instead, you will switch to soft meals for a while, particularly during the first week post-surgery. The first week will be particularly hard to adjust, so you must be careful about the meal choices you make. Afterward, you should be able to re-integrate other foods into your meals.

The Best Foods to Eat After Your Dental Implant Surgery

  • Well cooked vegetables
  • Mashed potatoes
  • Softly cooked proteins like chicken, fish, ground beef, and eggs
  • Pasta
  • Yogurts
  • Smoothies
  • Protein shakes

Other tips to help you post-surgery are:

  • Drink a lot of water to keep your mouth moist.
  • Rest amply so your body can concentrate on healing and recovery.
  • Avoid intense physical exertions like blowing your nose or sneezing.
  • Do not use any straws when drinking – they will introduce dry air into your mouth and cause excruciating pain.
  • Refrain from carbonated beverages like sodas that are acidic and bad for your implant.
  • Do not consume hot foods and drinks.
  • Avoid spicy foods that can irritate your implant wound.

Are Dental Implants Worth It?

Given the intense recovery period and adjustments you must make, you can question whether the treatment is worthwhile in the first place. Some of the reasons that make dental implants work are:

  • They are permanent – you never have to worry about replacing the same tooth twice.
  • They look and feel like natural teeth – with a root and crown.
  • They last a long time – many patients with implants keep them for a lifetime.
  • They prevent bone loss in the jawbone.
  • They accentuate your facial appearance by adding support to your facial muscles.

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