All-On-4 dental implants are a great option for people who are looking to easily replace a full set of teeth. In order to get the most out of your new teeth, post op aftercare following your All-on-4 procedure is crucial. Knowing what to expect once you get home—and the proper steps for oral care after the procedure—will help you to heal quickly so that you can get back to living your life.
What to Expect After All-On-4 Surgery
Swelling is common, as it is your body’s natural reaction to surgical procedures and the healing process. Swelling should decrease 7-10 days after your surgery. To help minimize swelling at home, you can use ice packs in 20 minute increments (20 minutes on and 20 minutes off). Ice is to be used for the first 72 hours following surgery, on the outside of the face, immediately adjacent to the surgical sites. Following 72 hours, we will encourage you to use heat in the form of a heating pad or warm compress. Remember, swelling is normal and if you experience swelling following your procedure, there is no need to worry.
Pain and Pain Management
Unfortunately, most oral surgery does result in a certain degree of discomfort for most patients, but the good news is it generally does not last long and can be managed. Most patients will be provided with a prescription for a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication (NSAID), in addition to, a medication specific for pain control. Used in combination, these medications are more than adequate for the management of postoperative discomfort. Remember, medications should not exceed the recommended dosage.
All-On-4 Aftercare: Oral Hygiene and Cleaning
In the first few weeks following your procedure, you will be provided with a prescription antibacterial mouth rinse to help keep the surgical sites clean and prevent postoperative infections. The mouthrinse should be used three times a day, swishing and spitting for approximately 30 seconds. In addition, it is important to lightly brush your new teeth with a soft toothbrush and water. Be sure to use a soft toothbrush as you heal and avoid direct contact with the surgical site.
Following two weeks of healing, you will be instructed to begin flossing underneath your new bridge and start using a Waterpik to remove any trapped food particles that may be under or around your All-On-4 implants.
All-On-4 Aftercare: What To Eat
While it may seem daunting to place food in your mouth following a surgical procedure, nutrition is necessary to promote good healing. While we ask that you remain on a soft, non-chew diet for the initial healing period following surgery, we encourage you to maintain adequate nutritional intake with foods such as eggs, fish, oatmeal, pudding, well-cooked pasta, applesauce, protein shakes and/or mashed potatoes. Any food that is able to be cut with the side of a plastic fork is appropriate for eating with your new bridge.
Avoiding any hard or chewy foods is necessary to allow for adequate implant healing. Also,
remember to stay hydrated throughout your recovery period, drinking plenty of water, tea, or gatorade in order to help the healing process. However, it is important to remember NOT to drink from straws after your procedure.
All-on-4 Dental Implants Recovery Time
You can expect to be uncomfortable during the first week following surgery. After this period, discomfort generally lessens and improves relatively quickly for most patients. Be sure to rest and take it easy following your procedure, returning slowly to regular routines as you feel comfortable. Don’t overdo it. You may ease back into light physical activity after a week of recovery, at your doctor's discretion.