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How to speed healing following implant surgery

A dental implant patient resting and reading after surgery

Advancements in dental implant diagnostics and placement have made recovery from surgery faster, easier, and more comfortable than ever. Most patients experience very little downtime. Follow these quick healing tips to reduce discomfort and be back to your normal self as soon as possible.

Control bleeding with gauze and rest

Bleeding is normal and expected during the first 24 hours following dental implant surgery. Control bleeding by gently biting down on a gauze pad.

Ice the surgical site to reduce swelling and bruising

To reduce swelling and improve comfort, place an ice pack on the outside of your cheek at the site of the implant. Use the ice pack in 20 minutes on, 20 minutes off intervals for the first 48 hours.

Take all prescribed medications as directed

Over the counter NSAIDs are usually sufficient for controlling discomfort following dental implant surgery. Make sure to take these medications as recommended by your doctor. If your oral surgeon has prescribed antibiotics, always complete the full course of medication, even if you feel great.

Rinse with salt water

Maintaining proper oral hygiene is vital for keeping the surgical site clean. Rinse with warm salt water a few times each day, including an additional rinse after every meal or snack. Brush your teeth but be very gentle and careful near the implant.

Relax and keep activity light

Schedule a day of relaxation following your procedure and limit activity to walking and light physical exertion for three to four days. Try to avoid bending over and reduce your activity level if you experience additional bleeding or throbbing.

Stick to soft foods and liquids

For the first 24 hours, choose foods that require no chewing and avoid any food that is difficult to chew for four to five days, taking care to chew on the opposite side of your mouth from the implant.

Keep your oral surgeon in the know

While some discomfort is expected from any oral surgery, recovery from dental implant placement should be relatively easy. If you experience any side effects that seem out of the ordinary, be sure to contact your oral surgeon.