If you have missing teeth, you know that eating your favorite foods can be difficult. Even if you have dentures, you‘ll likely have trouble eating chewy foods like taffy, bagels, or jerky. Crunchy foods including raw vegetables and fruits may also be problematic for you. Not only do you miss out on the foods you love, but your health and nutrition may suffer if your diet only consists of bland, soft foods like mashed potatoes and cottage cheese. Dental implants can restore your ability to eat what you like with confidence.
Dental implants take the place of your natural teeth and are a highly effective way to permanently restore your ability to chew. If you‘re considering dental implants, you‘re probably wondering if you‘ll have dietary restrictions during the healing process. While you will need to avoid some types of foods for a while, the dental implant process takes less than a year to complete. That means you‘ll be back to eating the foods you love quickly!
Before oral surgery, you won’t need to change the way you normally eat. After the procedure, you’ll need to stick to soft foods for a few weeks while your mouth heals. Don’t worry — it will only take a few days before you can return to a regular diet.
Before your dental implant procedure, head to the grocery store and stock up on foods you’ll be able to eat while your surgical site heals. You probably won‘t feel like going shopping immediately after dental implant surgery, so go a day or two beforehand. Fill your pantry and fridge with a variety of foods you can eat. Soups, broth, applesauce, pudding, soft bread, eggs, oatmeal, yogurt, and ice cream are great choices. Plan to get nutrients through vegetable and fruit smoothies, especially in the first few days after surgery. Remember, missing meals will slow your recovery process so be sure to take pain medication, drink plenty of water and stick to a soft-food diet.
Dental implant surgery involves osseointegration. That means your jawbone will need time to fuse to the implanted titanium rod. The bond created allows the dental implant to act like a natural tooth that‘s securely rooted in your bone.
On average, the fusing process takes four to six months, but it‘s different for everyone. Once the rod has fused to the bone, an abutment is placed over the rod. Finally, a porcelain crown is fitted on top of the rod.
If your bone tissue is not strong enough to support the implant, you might require a bone graft before getting an implant. This will lengthen the entire process by a few months. The bone graft process requires two steps
Once fused, the abutment and crown will be added by your dentist, leaving you with a natural-feeling artificial tooth.
Your dental implant procedure may also take longer if you need a tooth extracted before the titanium rod is placed in the bone. The tooth socket will need to heal before moving forward with the remaining steps in the process.
The answer to this question depends on how quickly you heal. Your mouth will be tender following surgery. For the first 10 to 14 days, you‘ll want to eat soft foods and liquids. You should stick to a primarily liquid diet for the first two or three days after surgery. Protein shakes, milkshakes, dairy products, and thin soups are good choices. Avoid foods that require much chewing. As your mouth heals, you can move to a more varied diet with soft fruits, potatoes, pasta, soft cheeses, and Jell-O. Within a week or two, you‘ll be back to eating solid foods.
Most people can eat normally a week following dental implant surgery. However, this timeline varies from person to person. It may take longer for your mouth to heal and you may need 10 days before you can return to a normal diet.
During the recovery period, it’s important to avoid eating hard foods, sticky foods, and heavily seasoned foods that could irritate the implant site. You may also find the implant is sensitive to cold foods and hot foods. What‘s more, hot food can damage the implant as it heals. Room-temperature food and drink are the best choices, especially during the first week following surgery.
Additionally, during the recovery period, you’ll need to avoid acidic foods like orange juice, tomatoes and carbonated beverages. These can aggravate the surgical site and may harm the implant. You should also avoid abrasive foods like seeds, nuts, pretzels, chips, and similar snacks.
After healing, your implant will act just like a natural tooth. You should be able to eat a normal diet that includes crunchy, sticky and chewy foods. Remember that you will need to care for your dental implants just as you do your real teeth. Regular brushing, flossing, and check-ups at the dentist are vital to good oral health. Click here to read more about how to clean your dental implants.
The team at Virginia Surgical Arts, an oral and cosmetic surgery facility in Virginia Beach, is ready to help you restore your ability to enjoy the foods you love. Call us at 757-430-7690 or submit our online form to learn more about dental implant surgery.