As you may already know, dental implants require oral surgery to place them into the jawbone. As with most surgeries, patients can expect some side effects – one of which is swelling. At No Gaps Dental, we prepare patients for how best to deal with swelling after dental implant placement. It’s important to know what to expect during your recovery following dental implant surgery. That way, you will be better prepared and able to recognise the signs of any complications that may necessitate contacting your dentist.
Is swelling normal after dental implant surgery?
Swelling is a result of fluid building up in the tissues. It’s natural for some swelling after dental implant surgery since this is the body’s way of dealing with trauma. Bruising may also occur as this is another way the body responds to injections and incisions. Depending on the number of dental implants and the length and complexity of the surgery, it’s not uncommon for people to experience an element of swelling and bruising around the mouth and jaw, cheeks, eyes, and side of the face.
Everyone reacts differently, and some patients tend to experience more discolouration and inflammation than others.
Typically, the above side-effects get worse before peaking around the second to the third day following dental implant surgery and slowly diminishing until they have disappeared several days later.
Swelling is a natural part of recovery after dental implant surgery and shouldn’t usually cause concern. That said, inflammation after receiving dental implants can cause discomfort and make people feel self-conscious about their appearance.
While there’s little anyone can do to prevent swelling after oral surgery, there are some tips to help minimise inflammation. These include:
Take over the counter pain killers
We recommend patients take common anti-inflammatory medication that they probably have in their medicine cabinet, such as Ibuprofen, to bring down the swelling and ease discomfort.
If this doesn’t offer relief, your doctor will be able to prescribe a more potent painkiller. If your dentist has prescribed a course of antibiotics to help reduce the risk of infection, then it’s crucial to take the whole course, even if you are feeling better.
Apply ice packs
Another way to reduce swelling after dental implant surgery is to place an ice pack on the cheek closest to the dental implant site. Wrap the ice pack in a clean cloth or, if you don’t have an ice pack, you can always use a pack of frozen peas straight from your freezer. Apply it several times a day during the first 48 hours, leaving it in place for around 15 to 20 minutes.
Rest and relaxation
It’s essential for anyone getting dental implants to allow their body time to rest and recover following dental implant surgery. Take things easy when you return home and seize this opportunity to stretch out on your bed or sofa with your head slightly elevated.
Drink plenty of water
While painkillers and antibiotics will help relieve any pain after getting dental implants, did you know that drinking water will speed up your recovery? It’s true.
Drinking water helps to maintain the balance of fluids in your body and increases the creation of saliva, which is particularly important during post-op recovery. As well as sipping plenty of water, there are other ways to improve your recovery after dental implant surgery.
This is one of the most common tips that our No Gaps dentists give patients to help them heal faster after oral surgery. We recommend rinsing your mouth with diluted salt water at least four times a day and certainly after every meal or snack. This helps wash away any food debris, keeps your mouth clean, and minimises the risk of infection.
While on the subject of infection, we want to assure prospective patients that we take cleanliness and sanitisation very seriously at all our clinics. Hand sanitiser is one way we help prevent the spread of infection and disease. Patients and staff must use hand sanitiser upon entering and leaving our building. The team also uses hand sanitiser before dental implant surgery to lower the risk of infection, which can prove fatal for dental implants.
Avoid strenuous exercise
While you may be itching to get back to the gym, we advise patients to wait for at least a week, especially if they received multiple dental implants. Lifting heavy weights and jogging can also increase pain and may cause implant rejection. Although yoga is a more gentle activity, you still need to be mindful of how movement could impact the dental implant site. If you’re unsure when to start exercising again, you can always ask your dentist for advice.
Look for signs of complications
While most people recover from dental implant surgery without any issues, it pays to be aware of complications that could arise. Things to look out for include:
- Extreme pain at the dental implant site.
- Swelling after dental implant surgery that gets worse.
- Prolonged inflammation.
- High fever.
Should any of these symptoms occur, it’s vital to contact your dentist as soon as you can so they can rule out an infection or any other complications.
Since dental implants perform the same way as natural teeth, they can also become infected like real teeth. If they do not receive early treatment from a dentist, they can and do fail.
If you are considering dental implants or have any questions about them, please don’t hesitate to contact the friendly dental teams at our No Gaps dental clinics by calling on (02) 8806 0227. Why not schedule an implant consultation to find out if you are a suitable candidate for dental implants and to have your questions answered. Should implants not be ideal for you, we’ll be happy to discuss your best tooth replacement options.
Note: Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks.