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How much pain will I feel if I get a dental implant?

This is the number-one question we hear from our patients, and our answer might shock you! For most patients who undergo a routine dental implant, the pain is not that bad. The majority of patients can take an over-the-counter pain medication and be fine. Other patients have even gone back to work after the procedure. The implant procedure usually requires a small incision in the gums. Bone actually has no nerve endings, which means little to no pain. However, if the implant procedure is a little more invasive, we may provide a prescription pain relief medication. Pain usually goes away after a day or two. We also know that you may experience pain in the form of anxiety. We here at Acre Wood Dental will go to every length to make sure you are comfortable and relaxed. If you need a little help to relax, we do offer our patients conscious sedation.

After a dental implant procedure, when can I eat?

We recommend that most people wait at least an hour after surgery to eat. We want to be sure that the gum has had time to clot before you eat. Once you remove your gauze and the bleeding has subsided, you can eat something soft. You need to be sure that you avoid drinking from a straw, and remember: no hot liquids! After 24 hours, you can start trying firmer foods. Use your best judgment as to what foods cause discomfort. If you eat anything that causes pain, we highly suggest you hold off until you have fully recovered.

What can I expect during the healing process?

The first day, you will be a little sore and may experience some tenderness. Every day after the initial procedure, you should feel better. However, if you feel like the pain is not going away or is getting worse, you will need to contact our office so that we can get you in for a follow-up exam and see what is causing the pain. You can expect to experience some swelling. Apply ice to the side of your face that the surgery was on. You can also use an anti-inflammatory drug, such as ibuprofen, to help decrease any swelling and discomfort. With any surgery that occurs in the mouth, you run the chance of swallowing some blood. This may cause you to be nauseous or even dizzy. Sometimes, medication can make you nauseous as well. These feelings should go away within 24 hours. If you experience a fever that goes over 100°, lasts over 24 hours, and does not go away or decrease with over-the-counter medication, please contact our office.

How long does take to fully recover from a dental implant procedure?

Recovery time fully depends on the dental implant surgery. For most people, recovery time is only 1-2 days. However, if you have more than one implant procedure completed, or if you need bone grafts, recovery time can take longer. If the latter is the case, most recovery times are around 1-2 weeks. There are several other factors that can cause recovery time to fluctuate. You have to account for your health, oral health, oral hygiene, and even age. If there are concerns with recovery time, always reach out to our office and come in for a follow-up exam.

Are implants hard to take care of after a dental implant procedure?

We really can’t stress this enough: good oral hygiene is crucial while you are recovering. We recommend that our patients regularly rinse with warm salt water for at least the first 24-48 hours after the procedure. Make sure the water is warm, not hot. After the first 24 hours have passed, you can integrate brushing your teeth. We recommend gentle brushing to start off. Remember to floss daily, and avoid using a straw and tobacco products.

Can I smoke after receiving dental implants?

No! Avoid smoking and tobacco products at all costs. Tobacco can be detrimental to the healing process. Smoking alone can lead to infection. Studies have shown that smoking causes a higher rate of implant failure. In fact, a study from researchers in Spain that tracked the success rates of 165 dental implants over five years found that almost 16% of dental implants failed in patients who smoked, as compared to only 1.4% in non-smokers.

When will I complete my implant procedure and get my crowns?

Full healing time is around 4-6 months after the surgery. After that, you will come back for an exam. During this exam, we will attach the abutment and then add the crown. This is all a same-day treatment.

How do I take care of my dental implants after they are healed?

The benefit of having dental implants is that they function the same way as your natural teeth. We recommend maintaining good oral hygiene and health care. Remember to brush twice a day for 2 minutes at a time. Don’t forget to floss as well! Follow your regular check-ups and cleaning schedule. The better you care for your implants, the longer they will last. Implants will get the normal wear and tear, but the plus side is that they can’t get cavities! But, that doesn’t mean you have to ignore them. Maintain the care of your gums, especially around the implant. Gum care is important!

We are Waco’s dental implant experts! Contact us to schedule a free consultation today!