How Long After Dental Implants Can You Eat Normally?

How Long After Dental Implants Can You Eat Normally?

Dental implants replace teeth that are missing or need to be extracted. A dental implant is an artificial tooth root made of titanium that is surgically placed in the jaw. One implant with an artificial crown attached can replace a single tooth. Multiple implants can support a bridge or dentures. 

Dental implant placement is considered to be a surgical procedure because an incision is made in the gum tissue to access the bone underneath. As with any surgical procedure, there is a recovery period during which you’ll need to be careful about eating. 

How long after dental implant placement can you eat normally again? Here’s what you can expect. 

Eating After Dental Implant Surgery 

In the first 24-48 hours following dental implant surgery you may experience some discomfort and tenderness. The gum tissue is still healing and your jaw may even be sore. It is best to stick to a liquid diet or only eat soft foods for the first few days. You may have a few sutures to help the gum tissue heal, which is another reason to avoid hard or crunchy foods for the first few days until the sutures dissolve or come out naturally. 

Foods to Eat During Recovery 

Here are some suggestions for soft foods to eat while you recover from dental implant surgery:

  • Soup
  • Mashed potatoes
  • Scrambled eggs
  • Yogurt
  • Smoothies 
  • Applesauce
  • Jello
  • Pudding 
  • Oatmeal 
  • Pasta
  • Soft cheese 

You can work up to more solid foods as you feel comfortable. Try to eat foods with nutritional value to help your body heal. 

One Week After Dental Implant Surgery

About a week after getting dental implants you should be ready to eat normally again. However, if you still have some tenderness in the area, avoid chewing on that side of your mouth. It may still be best to avoid particular hard or chewy foods like nuts, chips, meat, and raw vegetables. Cooked vegetables and tender meats are usually ok to eat by this point in your recovery. 

Stages of Dental Implant Placement

Another thing to consider when it comes to recovery and eating after dental implant surgery is that the process is often done in multiple stages. This means you may have multiple recovery periods. The first surgery is the placement of the implant itself in the jaw bone. After it is placed it takes a few months to fuse with the bone. 

Once the implant has had time to form a solid bond with the jaw bone, a second surgery will take place to attach the abutment that will support the prosthetic. This involves reopening the gum tissue, after which you will need to heal again. However, the attachment of the abutment is much less invasive so the recovery period should be shorter. 

Questions? Consult Your Oral Surgeon 

If at any point you have questions about your recovery or what you can eat, it is best to consult with your oral surgeon. The last thing you want to do is set back your recovery by injuring the area as it heals. Report any unusual symptoms such as excessive swelling, bleeding, or severe pain. 

Imperial Dental Associates Provides Dental Implants 

It is important for missing teeth to be replaced, and dental implants are the highest quality replacement option. Imperial Dental Associates provides dental implants to replace teeth that are missing or too damaged to be saved. Implants provide the look and function of a natural tooth without affecting your other teeth. 

To learn more, contact us today to schedule an appointment.