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Eating after Dental Implant Surgery

What to Expect in the First Few Days After Dental Implant Surgery

The New York Times has reported that over the past few years, more patients are opting for tooth implants over dentures than ever before. There is a good reason for this. Unlike dentures, dental implants are permanent, customized, and feel like your own teeth once in place. As well, a dental implant procedure is nearly always done in an outpatient setting so the patient is back home the same day. This short post will give you an overview of what to expect in the first few days after your dental implant procedure.

The Dental Implant Timeline

The timeline for dental implants can be anywhere from a few months to one year depending on the patient. This is because there is a healing period in between the time when the old tooth is removed and the permanent implant is placed. This is the typical timeline most patients experience.

  • Phase 1. In phase one, the old tooth and root is removed.
  • Phase 2. In phase two, a temporary implant is placed.
  • Phase 3. In phase three, your mouth heals.
  • Phase 4. In phase four, the permanent implant is placed.
  • Phase 5. You enter the final healing phase as your permanent implant is in place.

What to Expect Right after Your Implant Procedure

It is normal to have a lot of questions when you are about to go in for your dental surgery. One of the most common questions is "what about eating after dental surgery?" Here is an outline of the typical recommendations given to patients who are just healing from dental surgery. These recommendations may be followed between each phase of the procedure as needed.

  • You can have liquids - room temperature or warmed (but not hot) is best because your gum line will be sensitive.
  • It is best to eat soft foods at first and for up to two weeks until you feel no discomfort while chewing.
  • Be sure not to eat any foods you think might be too irritating to your healing gums and jaw - such as citrus or very spicy foods.

Longer Term Recommendations for Eating after Surgery

As well, patients are typically instructed to avoid certain foods and habits that can cause damage to the newly placed implant. Here is a list of items that you will want to avoid after surgery, even into the long term:

  • Hard foods or hard candies that can crack your implant.
  • Staining habits like tobacco.
  • Too much caffeine, which can not only stain teeth but also constrict blood vessels around the healing area.

Follow Up Maintenance

Even after your implant is successfully placed, you will still want to be attentive to how your mouth feels and be sure to keep your routine dentist appointments. In this way, you can ensure the long-term success of your dental implant procedure.

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