Getting dental implants has allowed thousands of patients to chew, talk, and smile confidently again. Following surgery though, the post-op stage can feel stressful, with worries around recovery time, results, and potential pain being common.
Dental implant post-op care is relatively straightforward and following a few easy steps can help to ensure that your dental implant surgery recovery goes as smoothly as possible.
Please note that these post-op instructions for dental implants aim to provide you with useful information on how to best take care of your implants. The guidelines outlined here are not intended to replace any medical advice provided to you by your dentist.
After Dental Implant Surgery: What Should I Expect?
Following the fitting of the implant device, you can expect to have some bleeding for up to three days. If you experience any prolonged bleeding then it’s worth contacting your dentist.
It’s also normal to have some bruising and swelling after dental implant surgery, especially around the implant site, although you might notice this around your cheeks and eyes as well. Any swelling should begin to ease 1-2 days after your treatment. As the anaesthetic begins to wear off, you’ll likely feel some pain and discomfort around the implant site. Over-the-counter painkillers are usually sufficient to ease this but in more severe cases, your dentist may prescribe medication for you.
Post-Op Dental Implants: General Guidance to Follow
Whether you’ve had your dental implants fitted abroad or at home, some general guidelines can help to ease your recovery. It’s worth noting that these guidelines are relevant regardless of whether you had a single implant fitted or undergone either the all-on-4 or all-on-6 technique.
Avoid eating until the effects of the anaesthesia have passed to prevent potential injury to your mouth, lips, or tongue.
Do not rinse your mouth with mouthwash in the first 24 hours after the procedure.
Fold a piece of sterile gauze and put it over the implant site and apply some biting pressure for 30-45 minutes. This can help to ease any bleeding.
Apply an ice pack to the side of your mouth where the implant was fitted to reduce the swelling. Continue doing this at 10-minute intervals for the first 12 hours after treatment.
Take one to two painkillers every 4-6 hours. Don’t take medication containing acetylsalicylic acids, such as aspirin, as they can prolong bleeding.
Hot and carbonated beverages and grainy foods should be avoided as they can accumulate in the wound and cause complications.
Avoid smoking for at least five days after treatment. Many dentists even recommend avoiding smoking for a month after surgery.
Avoid exercise and intense physical activities for three days after the procedure.
Post-Op Instructions for Dental Implant Care
Once you’re through the initial recovery period, it’s important to ensure that you continue to look after your newly fitted implants. There are a few points to bear in mind here.
1. Choose the Right Toothbrush
Depending on how many teeth implants you have fitted, your dentist may recommend choosing a new toothbrush. When doing so, it’s important to pay particular attention to the brush fibres that the toothbrush has. You should try to pick one with fibres that are:
Dense: To effectively clean the entire surface of the tooth.
Thin: To be able to enter harder-to-reach places.
Soft: To help prevent causing damage to the implants or gums when brushing.
2. Be Strict With Your Cleaning Regime
Regular cleaning should be one of the biggest parts of your dental implant post-op care regime. Make sure that you’re cleaning at least twice a day, carefully brushing under and around the implant and crown. Daily flossing when you have dental implants fitted is important too as plaque can build up fairly easily around the implants.
3. Cut Down on Smoking
Not only should smoking be avoided in the weeks following your surgery, but many dentists also recommend cutting back on smoking as much as possible if you have dental implants fitted. Smoking has been shown to negatively affect the success of the treatment and often lead to implant failure.
4. Invest In a Mouthguard
If you clench or grind your teeth at night then your dentist might recommend wearing a mouthguard while you sleep. Given the costs involved in dental implant surgery, these are worth the investment and can help to protect your implants in the long run.
5. Don’t Skip the Checkups
To keep an eye on the condition of your implants, regular dentist checkups — every six months — are vital. These allow your dentist to detect signs of potential problems in their early stages and treat them before they become a bigger issue. Regular checkups also allow your dentist to carry out professional cleaning to remove hard and soft dental plaque that can potentially become more serious if left untreated.
Dental Implants Post-Op: We’re With You Every Step of the Way
At Qunomedical, we’re here to support you throughout your dental implant surgery recovery, with your Patient Manager on hand to answer any questions or concerns. You can also join our dedicated community on Facebook. The Smile Hub provides a safe space to ask questions, chat with others, and share experiences about your journey.
✔ Dedicated patient support: Your Patient Manager can be reached via phone, email, WhatsApp, or Facebook Messenger and will be on hand to answer any questions you may have throughout your recovery.
✔ Real patients, real reviews: Hear directly from those who have undergone dental implant surgery through Qunomedical. Get in touch with people like you through our online community or check out our reviews page to hear firsthand accounts from those who have travelled abroad.