Year after year, dental implants continue to be a leading tooth replacement solution. Since they can last 20+ years, have a 95% success rate, and are the only option that can prevent jawbone deterioration, it’s not hard to see why! However, making the choice to get dental implants in Marble Falls is just the first step. To learn more about what happens after the procedure, read on for the answers to a few of the most frequently asked post-op questions.
#1. Can I Drive Myself Home?
Although the latest in dentistry and technology make the placement of dental implants safer than ever, it’s important to remember that it is still a serious oral surgery. Therefore, whether a sedative was used for your procedure or just a local anesthetic, it is best that you have a trusted adult drive you to and from your appointment. Even after you’ve returned home, it’s recommended that you don’t drive or operate heavy machinery for 24 hours.
#2. Will There Be Any Discomfort?
As you can imagine, the post-op experience varies largely based on how many dental implants are being placed. However, across the board, some swelling and discomfort are normal. That is why it’s so important to follow your aftercare instructions to a tee! Getting plenty of rest, using a cold compress, and taking over-the-counter pain medication are just a few things that can help keep you comfortable during the healing process.
#3. What Can I Eat, and When?
About an hour after surgery, you can begin eating. Just make sure to stick to soft foods, like yogurt and soup, for the first 24 hours. From there, you’ll be able to slowly begin incorporating your usual diet, as long as it doesn’t include foods and drinks that can compromise your healing (i.e., hard candy, alcohol, etc.). You want your mouth to heal properly, so make sure to follow these precautions and reach out to your dentist if you are ever unsure.
#4. Can I Brush My Teeth?
A smooth, seamless recovery relies on an infection-free, clean mouth, which is why good oral hygiene practices post-op are so important. After 24 hours, you can begin brushing your teeth again, practicing caution around the implant site. You can also rinse with a mixture of ½ teaspoon of salt and 1 cup of warm water, which can decrease puffiness and prevent infection. Under no circumstance should you use mouthwash or hydrogen peroxide until you get approval from your dental team.
How you care for yourself post-op is crucial to the short and long-term success of your dental implants. That’s why your dental team will review your aftercare instructions in-depth before the procedure even begins. If you have any questions along the way, don’t hesitate to ask!
About the Author
Dr. Greg Ritchie completed his dental doctorate from the University of Texas Health Science Center, and he has spent the last nearly 20 years helping patients rebuild their oral health and their smile. Throughout his career, he has completed advanced training in dental implants, undergone continuing education at the prestigious Las Vegas Institute for Advanced Dental Studies, and been named “Super Dentist” by Texas Monthly. If you have additional post-op questions or are looking for a dentist in Marble Falls, don’t hesitate to visit his website!