Dear Valued Patient:

We hope this letter finds you and your family in good health. Our community has been through a lot over the last few months, and all of us are looking forward to resuming our normal habits and routines. While many things have changed, one thing has remained the same: our commitment to your safety.

Infection control has always been a top priority for our practice and you may have seen this during your visits to our office. Our infection control processes are made so that when you receive care, it’s both safe and comfortable. We want to tell you about the infection control procedures we follow in our practice to keep patients and stay safe.

Our office follows infection control recommendations made by the American Dental Association (ADA), the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). We follow the activities of these agencies so that we are up-to-date on any new rulings or guidance that may be issued. We do this to make sure that our infection control procedures are current and adhere to each agencies’ recommendations.

You may see some changes when it is time for your next appointment. We made these changes to help protect our patients and staff. For example:

- Our office will communicate with you beforehand to ask some screening questions. You'll be asked those same questions again when you are in the office.

- We have hand sanitizer that we will ask you to use when you enter the office. You will also find some in the reception area and other places in the office for you to use as needed.

- You may see that our waiting room will no longer offer magazines, children's toys and so forth, since those items are difficult to clean and disinfect.

- Appointments will be managed to allow for social distancing between patients. That might mean that you're offered fewer options for scheduling your appointment.

- We will do our best to allow greater time between patients to reduce waiting times for you, as well as to reduce the number of patients in the reception area at any one time.

We look forward to seeing you again and are happy to answer any questions you may have about the steps we take to keep you, and every patient, safe in our practice. To make an appointment, please call our office at 704-364-9000. 

Thank you for being our patient. We value your trust and loyalty and look forward to welcoming back our patients, neighbors and friends.

Sincerely,

Dr. Porter and Team

Swelling after Dental Implant Surgery

Dental implants are widely considered to be the most effective tooth replacement option in dentistry today. As with any surgery, it is important to know what to expect during your recovery. This will ensure you have necessary items on hand and know when you should contact a medical professional. Swelling after dental implant surgery typically subsides within two to three days. Your doctor will provide detailed post-operative instructions, including ways to minimize this side effect. Tips include keeping your head elevated, reducing activity, and taking anti-inflammatory medications.

Is Swelling Normal?

Swelling is part of the body’s natural response to injury. You may not equate a surgical procedure with injury, however, it is a controlled form of trauma. In order to place dental implants, your surgeon must administer injections, create incisions, and place sutures. Simply stated, swelling is a buildup of fluid in the tissues. It is not dangerous and is actually a normal aspect of the healing process. Like swelling, bruising is completely normal during healing. However, some patients tend to bruise easier than others.

Man with swollen cheek highlighted in red
Some degree of swelling is a natural and healthy response to dental implant surgery. 

How Much Swelling to Expect

The extent of swelling each individual will experience depends on several factors. First, your body’s reaction is contingent upon the surgical procedure itself. For example, someone who is receiving six dental implants will probably experience more inflammation and discoloration than a patient who is having a single implant placed.

Swelling is part of the body’s natural response to injury. It is not dangerous and is actually a normal aspect of the healing process. 

It is not uncommon to experience swelling around the mouth, jaws, cheeks, eyes, and sides of the face following dental implant surgery. Following the procedure, swelling typically reaches its peak around the second or third day before gradually diminishing. However, it can take up to several days for the inflammation to completely subside.

Common Signs of Infection

Knowing what to expect can help you avoid post-operative complications and minimize your risk of infection. It is important to be aware of any changes that take place during your recovery. The simplest way to do this is to evaluate the swelling and level of discomfort you experience after the procedure.

Swelling should substantially subside for most patients by the third day. Once the swelling begins to go down, it should not increase again. Therefore, if you notice swelling after the initial inflammation has subsided, it could indicate an infection. If you are experiencing any symptoms which indicate infection following your oral surgery, contact your doctor right away. In many cases, they will simply prescribe antibiotics to ensure proper healing.

Woman holding jaw highlighted red in pain
Persistent swelling, often accompanied by pain, may be indicative of infection.

Ways to Reduce Swelling

While swelling is common during recovery after oral surgery, there are ways to minimize the effect. Once you return home following your procedure, the doctor may recommend applying a cold compress or an ice pack to the face or jaw for 20 minutes, then removing it for another 20 minutes. Continue this process, on and off, as much as possible during the first 24 hours, as this is the most crucial time frame. You can continue icing the site for the next two days. However, after 72 hours, a cold compress will not offer any additional benefit. Moist heat is often recommended in the following days.

Keeping your head elevated following the placement of dental implants is important. You can also take over-the-counter anti-inflammatories, such as ibuprofen or naproxen, as well as any prescribed medications. These will not only help reduce swelling but also alleviate any discomfort, as well. 

Experience a Comfortable Recovery

No matter what methods you use to combat swelling, bruising, and other side effects after dental implant surgery, be sure to closely follow the guidelines provided by your dentist or surgeon. By doing so, you can give yourself the best chance for optimal healing and a quick recovery.

Dr. Porter

Charles A. Porter III, DDS

Dr. Porter implements the latest developments and highest standards in dentistry. He is a member of several prestigious organizations, including the:

  • American Dental Association
  • Academy of General Dentistry
  • North Carolina Dental Society 

To schedule your consultation, contact our Charlotte office online or call us at (704) 364-9000.

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135 S Sharon Amity Rd
Ste 200
Charlotte, NC 28211

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