Treating and Preventing Discomfort After Dental Implant Surgery

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Pain is a major concern for most people when faced with dental surgery, and getting implants is no exception. The good news is that there is rarely ever any pain felt during the procedure itself. Your dentist will ensure that you are completely numb. There can be some discomfort afterward, though, since you will need to recover and heal. The following guide can help you know what is normal and when you should consult your dentist, as well as giving you strategies to relieve the discomfort.

What to expect

A bruised feeling with some soreness and tenderness is completely normal. You can expect swelling and mild inflammation around the implant sites as well. There may also be some bleeding until the implant site begins to heal. Most discomfort usually passes within a few days.

Severe pain, including sharp, stabbing pain, extensive swelling, visible bruising, or bleeding persisting for more than a day can indicate a complication. If you feel anything beyond mild discomfort or if the prescribed painkillers are not providing relief, contact your dentist immediately to see if further treatment is necessary.

Common pain relief strategies

In most cases you will be prescribed an anti-inflammatory along with a pain killer to help manage the discomfort following the procedure. In most cases, over the counter pain killers are sufficient, although occasionally your dentist may prescribe a pain killer.

You can also use an ice pack on the outside of your cheek to help relieve discomfort and bring down the swelling.

Preventing issues

Avoiding infection and ensuring prompt healing is the best strategy to prevent pain after your procedure. The following can help you achieve this:

  • Avoid smoking and tobacco products, as they can inhibit healing around the implant sites.

  • Rinse gently with salt water or the rinse specified by your dentist after eating to help keep the implant sites clean.

  • Brush your teeth twice daily, as a clean mouth is less likely to harbor infection.

  • Avoid exercise for a few days following the procedure, as vigorous activity can lead to increased bleeding and swelling.

  • Eat soft, easily chewed foods like soup, pudding, or smoothies, but do not use a straw for beverages.

  • Avoid small, hard foods like nuts, rice, or seeds, as these could become lodged in the implant site and lead to pain or infection.

If you have further concerns about your implant surgery and recovery, talk with a dentist or oral surgeon, such as those at Oral Surgery Associates Inc.