4 Common Questions About What to Expect After Dental Implant Surgery

by | Oct 5, 2020 | General Dentistry

young woman giving thumbs up before dental implant surgery

When you begin the process of replacing your missing teeth with dental implants, you may understandably have a few concerns. After all, dental implant surgery is a major procedure. Your dentist should be more than happy to answer any questions you may have about what you can expect afterward. In the meantime, though, it may help to read through this list of frequently asked post-op questions.

Can I Drive Myself Home?

In most cases, you will be sedated for your surgery. With most forms of sedation, it can take quite a while for your coordination, alertness, and vision to return to normal. For this reason, you should not drive for at least 24 hours after your procedure. You should arrange for someone you trust to drive you to and from your appointment and keep an eye on you for the rest of the day.

What If I Start Bleeding When I Get Home?

Light bleeding from the surgical site is actually fairly common for the first 48 to 72 hours after dental implant surgery. During the procedure, your dentist will have placed gauze pads over the site. To minimize bleeding, firmly bite down on them for the first hour. Keep in mind that spitting and rinsing can worsen bleeding.

If your implants were placed in your upper jaw, or if you had a sinus lift, your nose may bleed. Do not blow your nose. Instead, gently dab at the area with a tissue or cloth.

How Soon After the Surgery Can I Eat?

After about an hour, you can remove the gauze pads from the surgical site and have something to eat. For the first 24 hours, only eat soft foods such as yogurt or applesauce. Avoid hot foods and drinks, as that can irritate the implant site. Do not drink from a straw for the first 24 to 48 hours. Taking these precautions will help promote a smoother recovery.

Will My Recovery Be Painful?

It depends. The level of post-op discomfort you’ll feel will vary based on how extensive your procedure was. If your dentist did not write you a prescription for pain medication, then they probably believe that your soreness will be minimal. In that case, over-the-counter pain relievers like ibuprofen should be enough.

The local anesthetic that was used to numb your mouth will begin to wear off about two hours after your surgery. To help lessen discomfort, take the first dose of either the prescription or over-the-counter pain medication after eating something and before the numbness fully subsides.

For the most part, recovering from dental implant surgery involves a lot of rest. Remember to take it easy, and if you have any further questions, don’t hesitate to call your dentist.

About the Practice

While most dental practices refer patients to an outside specialist for dental implant placement, our team at LakeView Family Dental can perform every step of the process at our West Bloomfield, MI office. You can rebuild your smile with a skilled team of dentists you trust. To learn more about what to expect after dental implant surgery, contact us at 248-363-3304.