What and When Can I Eat After Dental Implants?
If you will be getting dental implants Indianapolis, you should know that taking good care of yourself and your mouth after surgery can help ensure the success of your implant-based dental restoration and reduce your risk of complications. That means following the post-operative instructions given to you by your Indianapolis oral surgeon carefully, which will include some dietary restrictions. So you may be asking, “when and what can I eat after dental implants?” The answer to that question may differ somewhat from one patient to another, so you’ll need to speak to your surgeon for exact details in your case, but here we’ll go over general guidelines for the average patient after dental implant surgery.
WHY WHAT YOU EAT AFTER DENTAL IMPLANT SURGERY MATTERS
Dental implants are surgically implanted directly into the jawbone and must fuse with its bone tissue to provide a stable foundation for your dental restoration. As that bond develops, stress or pressure on the implant can impede the process, increasing risk of implant failure. Additionally, any foods that irritate or injure surgical sites in the early phases of recovery can increase your risk of infection, excessive bleeding and other complications. That said, it’s also important to remember that, while your diet will be somewhat limited after surgery, it is essential to eat well, since poor nutrition can also impede that bonding process and hinder the healing of surgical sites.
EATING AFTER DENTAL IMPLANTS
Your oral surgeon will instruct you to consume a soft-food diet for a certain period of time after your procedure. Just how long that period will be depends upon factors that include the number of implants you’ve had placed, the complexity of your procedure, and the type of implants used in your particular case. For example, if your oral surgeon uses traditional implants, they will be completely buried under the gum tissue during the healing and bonding – or osseointegration – process. Generally, patients who get this type of dental implants are advised to stick to a soft-food diet for about 10 to 14 days. If single-stage implants are used, with an abutment or healing cap protruding through the gum tissue, patients may be required to eat soft foods only for 6 weeks or more.
During the first few days after surgery, it is generally recommended that patients consume only very soft or pureed foods, such as puddings, yogurt, soups, and mashed potatoes, to name just a few possibilities. Milkshakes or smoothies are good as well – but do not use a straw, since the suction can cause injury to surgical sites. Other soft foods, such as bananas, oatmeal, scrambled eggs, soft-cooked vegetables and cottage cheese can be added after those first days as tolerated. Foods to avoid during recovery include popcorn, sticky foods, acidic or carbonated beverages, hard or crispy foods like nuts, chips or raw vegetables, and anything that has small seeds, since they can become lodged in surgical sites to promote infection.
Throughout your recovery, it is important to avoid chewing over the implants, especially if abutments or healing caps are exposed. The less stress and pressure you put on those implants, the better the chances they will develop the secure, long-lasting bond necessary to support your dental restoration. While these dietary restrictions may seem tedious, the good news is that once healing is complete and your smile restored, you’ll be able to eat whatever you like, since implant based restorations look, feel and function like natural teeth.