If you’ve been delaying your dental implant surgery, the holidays can be the perfect opportunity to schedule your procedure because you’ll have a few days off from work. You don’t have to worry about missing out on the season’s festivities. Here are 5 tips to enjoy the holidays while recovering from your implant placement surgery.
1. Take Time to Rest
It can take several hours for the effects of any anesthesia to dissipate, so you’ll want to rest for at least 24 hours. Don’t plan to travel for a couple of days because you’ll need to limit your activities, including exercising. Strenuous activities can increase blood flow, which can cause discomfort and swelling to rise. It’s better to stay at home and rest for a few days.
2. Eat Soft Foods
Your dentist will instruct you to follow a liquid diet for 1-2 weeks post-op. It’s best to avoid any hot foods or drinks until any numbing agents dissipate to prevent accidental burns. Your dentist will also recommend skipping alcohol and carbonated beverages. Don’t drink through a straw to avoid dislodging blood clots at the surgical sites.
After a couple of weeks, your dentist will give the go-ahead to introduce softer foods. You can still eat many of your seasonal favorites, like mashed potatoes, baked yams, and stuffing. Be sure to drink plenty of water to stay hydrated.
3. Adjust Your Travel Plans
Your dentist may prescribe pain medications that can cause drowsiness, so you may not be able to drive for a few days until your discomfort improves. Traveling by plane or train doesn’t pose significant hazards, but your dentist will recommend waiting at least 48 hours before heading out of town.
4. Manage Pain and Swelling
You can expect your mouth to be tender for a few days, and swelling and bruising can also occur. Take an OTC or prescribed pain reliever as recommended by your dentist. Applying a cold compress to the outside of your face can reduce bruising and swelling while numbing the area temporarily.
5. Maintain Your Oral Hygiene Routine
Dental implants are a big investment. Don’t risk their success to an infection. Follow your dentist’s aftercare instructions to keep your mouth clean, even if you’ll be traveling. Brush and floss after eating to remove food particles and bacteria that can compromise your new smile.
Enjoy a Complete, Beautiful Smile
You will have one more reason to smile for the holidays because you won’t be worried about your missing teeth. Although you have a bit of a recovery ahead of you, you’ll have the next best thing to your natural teeth using a method that is proven to last for decades.
About Dr. David Tillman
Dr. Tillman earned his dental degree from the University of Texas Dental Branch and has completed extensive continuing education in advanced procedures, including bone grafting and dental implants. He is a member of the International Congress of Oral Implantologists and several other professional accreditations. If you’re ready to replace your missing teeth, contact our office today to request your consultation.