Dental implants are the latest trend in dentistry among tooth replacement options. More and more people are choosing to get dental implants to replace missing or damaged teeth, and we often get queries about what foods can or cannot be eaten with implants.
Generally, after a successful dental implant procedure, patients regain full functionality of their teeth and can eat almost anything. The biggest drawback of dentures is that they rely on the underlying gums for support and put excessive force and pressure on the soft tissue during chewing. This can lead to inflammation and painful sores on the gums. Dental implants are integrated into the jawbone and derive support directly from the bone. Implants also help in regaining 90% of chewing capacity, which allows patients to eat almost just as well as they would with their natural teeth.
How Long After Dental Implants Can I Eat Normally?
The procedure for dental implants is initiated with a surgical phase wherein the implant is drilled beneath your gums and into the jawbone. The surgery takes place under local anesthesia, and the patient is allowed to return home the same day. Like with any other oral surgery, dietary restrictions are placed on the foods you eat until the wound has healed. After the surgery, the implant is left alone for 4 to 6 months to allow for a process known as osseointegration. The dental crown or ‘tooth’ is placed onto the implant once osseointegration is complete.
- During the first 24 hours of your implant surgery, it is normal to experience pain, inflammation, and swelling around the surgical site. Patients are advised to consume a liquid diet during this time, which may include soups, juices, yogurt, gelatine, It is essential to drink plenty of fluids as well as aids in the healing process. However, the temperature of the liquid should never be too hot; even drinks like tea and coffee should be cooled to room temperature before consumption.
- Avoid smoking, alcohol consumption, and spicy food after dental implant surgery.
- The soft diet should be continued for the next couple of weeks. The idea is to avoid any kind of direct pressure onto the implant site as it may delay the healing process. This also includes biting down on the implant and avoiding foods that are too hard, acidic, or sticky.
- As osseointegration takes place, it is essential to maintain minimal disturbance of the implant to ensure that it bonds well to the surrounding jawbone. Patients can resume their normal diet after complete healing of the surgical wound has taken place. However, hard and crunchy foods should preferably be avoided until the entire dental implant procedure has been completed.
Foods Not to Eat with Dental Implants
Most of the precautions needed to be taken after getting a dental implant are limited to the post-surgical phase. Once the implant has healed, and the crown is cemented onto the implant, you can get back to enjoying your favorite foods. However, it is advisable to avoid some foods and indulge in them only occasionally:
- Tea, coffee, and red wine cause staining of both natural teeth and implant crowns. It is advised to keep away from frequent and large quantity consumption of such strongly colored
- Sticky candies and chewing gum can get stuck around the crown of the dental implant, which pulls at the crown during cleaning measures. This can lead to premature wear-and-tear of the implant and can result in the need for a replacement.
- Hard foods like nuts, popcorn, hard candy, apple, ice, can be enjoyed occasionally, but only once the entire dental procedure is complete with cementation crown on the implant. It is preferable to limit their consumption to a minimum in order to make your implants durable and long-lasting.
Dental implants require the same amount of care and maintenance that natural teeth do. Follow proper oral hygiene measures to ensure the longevity of your natural teeth as well as your dental implant.