A dental implant is an artificial tooth root that supports a replacement tooth. Dental implants are the highest quality tooth replacement option because they look and function as closely as possible to a natural tooth out of any dental prosthetic.
A dental implant is placed in the jaw bone, which makes it a minor surgical procedure. The dentist must enter the gum tissue to access the bone where the implant will be placed. In most cases this can be done with local anesthesia.
If you have an upcoming dental implant surgery scheduled, or if you’re thinking about getting one or more implants, you may be wondering what you’ll be able to eat afterwards. Here is some helpful information about eating after dental implant surgery.
What to Eat in the First 24 Hours
For the first 24 hours, it is best to stick to a diet of liquids and soft foods that require no chewing whatsoever. Examples include:
- Protein drinks
- Soup without chunks
- Mashed potatoes
Make sure that any hot foods or beverages have cooled before you consume them. You don’t want to irritate the already inflamed tissue in your mouth. Avoid spicy foods as well, as they may cause irritation.
What to Eat in the Next Few Days
By the second or third day you may be feeling up to eating more solid foods, such as:
- Scrambled eggs
- Soft bread
- Soft cheese
- Mashed fruit
- Vegetables cooked until soft
It is still important to avoid hot foods or beverages. Allow them cool until warm to avoid irritation. Continue to avoid spicy foods for at least the first week after surgery.
The Importance of Nutrition For Dental Implant Success
When recovering from oral surgery it can be tempting to resort to comfort foods, which can mean you’re eating too much sugar and carbohydrates and not enough vitamins and protein. Protein is essential for healing, as well as the vitamins found in fruits and vegetables. Protein drinks are packed with extra protein and nutrients that will help you heal. It is also important to get plenty of calcium to fortify your jaw bone and encourage osseointegration, the process where the implant fuses with the bone.
You can allow yourself to enjoy some comfort foods in the first few days as you recover, but include nutrient packed foods as well to give your body what it needs to heal. Osseointegration can take months to be complete, and the success of your dental implant can come down to your nutrition. Once the implant fully fuses with the bone to form a solid bond, that bond can last a lifetime.
When Can I Eat Normally?
You will go back to your dentist for follow up appointments following your initial surgery. Your dentist will monitor your progress and let you know when it is ok to eat more solid foods. It may be best to avoid chewing on the side of your mouth where the implant was placed until your permanent crown is attached.
Oak Road Dentistry Provides Dental Implants
If you have one or more teeth that need to be replaced, dental implants provide the highest quality solution. Oak Road Dentistry recommends dental implants in most cases, as long as the patient is a good candidate for the procedure. Even if your jaw bone lacks the density needed for dental implant placement, we can provide preparatory procedures to make implants possible for you.