How Should I Sleep after Dental Implant Surgery? By Dr. Dan Whiting on June 24, 2020

woman sleeping propped up on pillows in bedPatients who are missing one or more teeth can benefit from dental implants at Smiles for Life. Dental implant placement typically takes about one hour at our offices in Bridgewater, VA, and Staunton, VA. Though it is a relatively quick procedure, it is important to take proper precautions to ensure a comfortable, successful recovery.

Many of our patients ask how they should sleep after dental implant surgery. Our team of doctors is here to answer that question and offer some additional tips and tricks for successful treatment.

Benefits of Sleeping in an Elevated Position

Following surgery of any kind, nothing sounds better than a good night’s rest. Sleeping with the head in an elevated position can reduce the risk of pain and discomfort after oral surgery.

Because the head is up higher than your extremities, blood circulation slows in the gums. In addition to reducing the risk of bleeding, elevating the head also decreases swelling and gives the oral soft tissues time to heal from the impact of surgery.

When Can I Resume a Normal Sleeping Position?

Our dental team recommends elevating the head for at least 72 hours after dental implant surgery. To do this, you can prop yourself up on pillows in your bed. Alternatively, you can also sleep in a recliner for the first few days after your procedure.

Other Tips for a Successful Recovery

In addition to sleeping in an elevated position, there are plenty of other things you can do to promote healing after your dental implant surgery. Below, we will discuss steps you can take to reduce bleeding, swelling, and discomfort.

How to Reduce Bleeding

When you leave our office after your dental implant procedure, you will probably notice that gauze packs have been placed over the surgical area. These should be left in place until you arrive home. They can then be gently removed.

Slight oozing is normal during the first two to three days and is not a cause for concern. If bleeding increases, place another gauze pack over the area, bite down with firm, steady pressure for 15 minutes, then remove. A moistened tea bag can also be used to slow bleeding. Tea naturally contains tannic acid, which actively shrinks blood vessels and capillaries. If bleeding persists after trying these techniques, call our office for further instructions.

When the heartrate is elevated, the risk of bleeding increases. Therefore, patients should also avoid heavy lifting or exercise of any kind for the first 48 to 72 hours.

How to Reduce Swelling

Most patients experience at least some swelling and inflammation after dental implant surgery. To minimize this side effect, apply ice packs or cold compresses on the external jaw. Leave in place for 20 minutes, then remove and repeat as necessary.

Over-the-counter medications, such as ibuprofen or naproxen, can help reduce swelling and inflammation as well. Just be sure to follow your doctor’s recommendations when taking medication of any kind.

How to Reduce Discomfort

Patients can minimize pain and tenderness after dental implant surgery by resting as much as possible during the first few days. It is important not to do too much too soon. Avoid the gym, take all medications as prescribed, and follow your dentist’s post-operative guidelines carefully.

Contact Our Practice for More Details

Sleeping in an upright position and following your post-treatment instructions can help ensure that your recovery is a success. To learn more about dental implant surgery, schedule a consultation at our Staunton-area practice. Contact us online or call our office at (540) 828-2312.

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Dentists at Smiles for Life Dental Care

Smiles for Life Dental Care

The team of highly trained doctors at Smiles for Life wants to help you achieve and maintain a healthy smile for a lifetime. Because we want every patient to have access to the advanced treatments offered at our practice, we accept many insurance and financing options, including: 

  • Medicare 
  • Compassionate Finance™
  • CareCredit®
  • LendingClub®
  • Smile Rewards 

To get started, call our Bridgewater office at (540) 828-2312 or request an appointment online.

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