Dental implants can replace teeth that are missing or severely damaged due to decay or injury. They provide a natural look and function that restores your smile and your chewing capabilities. Dental implant placement is a surgical procedure, and a short recovery period is to be expected.
If you have an upcoming appointment for dental implant placement, you may be wondering how soon after the procedure you will be able to eat normally. Here’s what you can expect.
What Are Dental Implants?
A dental implant consists of 3 main parts: the implant, the abutment, and the prosthetic. Each piece is placed during a separate appointment.
- Implant. The implant is a titanium post shaped like a screw with threads to encourage fusion with the bone. The implant is surgically placed in the jaw and in the following months it forms a solid bond with the bone that can last a lifetime.
- Abutment. The abutment is the connector between the implant and the prosthetic. It is placed after the implant has bonded to the bone.
- Prosthetic. The prosthetic is the artificial tooth portion of the implant. It may be a single crown, a bridge, or a denture. This will be attached to the abutment once full healing of the bone and gum tissue has taken place.
Recovery After Dental Implant Placement
The longest recovery period occurs after the implant or multiple implants are placed. It may take a few weeks for the gum tissue to heal completely. After this step you may need to eat a soft diet while your mouth heals from surgery.
Attaching the abutment requires another, less invasive surgery. Recovery may be faster after this step, but a soft diet will still be beneficial for a while until full healing of the gum tissue occurs.
The last step in the process is the attachment of the dental prosthetic. There is rarely any discomfort after this step, meaning you may be ready to eat normally the same day or the next day. When you are ready to eat your usual diet is up to you and how you feel. Recovery periods may vary from patient to patient.
What to Eat During Recovery
The first 24 hours after dental implant placement, you may be most comfortable sticking to an all-liquid diet, such as:
- Protein drinks
- Iced tea
Avoid any hot beverages until your mouth has had time to heal and there is no more inflammation.
A few days after dental implant surgery you may be ready to eat soft foods, such as:
- Cottage cheese
- Mashed potatoes
Be sure to let all warm foods cool to almost room temperature before consuming. When you are ready to eat more solid foods, start with:
- Scrambled eggs
- Soft bread
- Soft cheese
- Cooked veggies
- Soft fruits (bananas)
- Nut butters
Why Choose Dental Wellness Team?
Dental Wellness Team provides you with a functional, natural looking replacement for missing or damaged teeth. We believe in providing solutions that improve your overall health and wellness, and dental implants can make it possible for you to get the nutrition you need through the foods you enjoy. Our dental implant solutions are minimally invasive for faster recovery.
Call (954) 796-3355 or contact us today to learn more and schedule an appointment.
Frequently Asked Questions About Dental Implants
Is a dental implant better than a bridge?
Dental implants offer significant advantages over bridges. A dental implant has its own source of support and does not rely on or alter the healthy teeth on either side the way a bridge does. Dental implants also prevent bone loss in the jaw and can last for the rest of your life.
How many teeth can you replace with dental implants?
Dental implants can be used to replace anywhere from one to all of the teeth in your mouth. When you need a full arch of replacement teeth, 4-6 dental implants are placed in the jaw to support a full denture.