Dental implants have revolutionized the options available to patients who have suffered tooth loss. They offer the closest likeness to natural teeth and are the most innovative, long-lasting way to restore your smile.
However, in some cases, patients may require a bone graft to stabilize the bone tissue before receiving dental implants. After this outpatient procedure, patients should know what to expect and how to take care of the site. One of the effects that it’s essential to prepare for is swelling after dental implant bone graft.
Is Swelling After Dental Surgery Normal?
As is the case with any dental surgery, swelling is a natural part of the healing process, and it’s no cause for concern.
Swelling presents differently in all patients. Some individuals may experience more extensive inflammation across their faces, while others may only have it at the site of the procedure. Most patients fall somewhere in between, however.
While complications following dental surgery are rare, especially if you follow post-op instructions, it’s vital to monitor your condition. Pay attention to the following signs in the days after your surgery, as they may indicate complications that require medical care:
- Swelling that gets worse instead of better
- Acute pain at the treatment site
- Extended inflammation
Should you notice any of these symptoms, contact your dentist as soon as possible to rule out problems such as infection.
How Long Will It Last?
The question of how long swelling after dental implant bone graft surgery will last is unique to every individual. Recovery rates are different for every patient, so it’s impossible to say exactly how long you will experience swelling.
We can say that, on average, swelling reaches its peak about 48 hours following the procedure and may last up to a full week. In most cases, swelling subsides anywhere from five to seven days after the surgery.
If your swelling is not diminishing, or if it’s becoming worse, you should reach out to your dentist to rule out any complications.
Tips to Reduce Swelling
Though inflammation at the procedure site is natural and typically no cause for concern, some patients wonder if they can take a proactive approach to reduce swelling. For many individuals, swelling causes them to feel self-conscious, and on a practical level, it can also amplify pain after dental surgery. Wanting to reduce the effects of this condition is logical.
So how can you mitigate swelling?
Aside from following all the post-operation instructions given to you, these tips may help you find relief:
- Apply ice packs to the site several times a day for 15-20 minutes, especially in the first 48 hours
- Drink plenty of water (but avoid straws)
- Take over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medication
- Reduce salt intake
- When resting, keep your head somewhat elevated
- Avoid any strenuous activity, such as bending or lifting heavy objects
Unfortunately, there are no steps you can take to prevent swelling after dental implant bone graft, but following these tips should reduce inflammation.