What foods can I eat after my dental implant surgery? It’s a frequently asked question for every patient scheduled for implants. The quick answer is softer foods that will not affect the healing process. We’ll provide a list of suggested foods later in this article.
Dental implants, when healed, achieve a strength on par with natural teeth because they fuse to the bone — become integrated with the body — as they heal. Therefore, it’s crucial to eat properly after your surgery to make sure healing occurs as quickly and thoroughly as possible. Your dentist or periodontist will want to see a fully healed implant before attaching the final crown (replacement tooth) at the top.
List of Soft Foods for Dental Implant Patients
Following surgery, an implant patient will be placed on a soft diet to allow the healing process to take place. Dentists and periodontists generally advise that a soft diet can include:
- Soft, fresh foods including some fruits and vegetables
- Soft protein foods including tofu, fish, eggs
- Soups and well-cooked stews with small pieces of meat
- Pancakes, waffles, muffins, soft bread
- Rice, pasta, cooked grains such as couscous
- Yogurt, cottage cheese, ice cream
- Other foods soft enough to be cut easily with a fork
Foods to Avoid After Implant Surgery
It’s essential to avoid solid foods that require heavy chewing after dental implants are placed initially. Also, items with small kernels that can become caught between teeth and might cause an infection are to be avoided. The list includes:
- Firm meats and chewy meats like steak
- Crunchy vegetables like carrots or fruits such as apples
- Popcorn and other foods with small, loose pieces
How Long Until I Can Eat Normally?
In general, the dental implant healing process occurs during a time frame of four to six months. Several factors can affect the healing time for dental implants. A significant one is whether or not bone grafting was required during the implant surgery. Once healing is complete, patients can expect to return to a regular diet. One of the significant advantages of implants is a return to bite strength on par with natural teeth. They provide a substantial advantage over other tooth-replacement methods such as dentures, which can slip or fit loosely. It’s because implants fuse to the jawbone when fully healed and have the strength of real teeth.
Osseointegration Makes Dental Implants Superior
Dentists and periodontists nearly universally recommend dental implants to replace lost teeth. One of the most significant advantages is their ability to preserve the jawbone. You eat soft food while they heal because the bone is regrowing around the implant screw like the roots of real teeth. In dental and medical terms, this natural bone fusion process is known as osseointegration. It’s an advantage implants have over all other replacement methods. For example, with dentures and bridges, tooth sockets are left open, and the underlying bone recedes. It’s not good for nearby teeth and, in some cases, can make your face or cheeks appear sunken.
Well-placed dental implants, on the other hand, can help keep the jawbone firm and healthy. When fully healed, they provide a bite strength nearly identical to real teeth, allowing you to eat whatever you choose. There is some dietary restriction for a short period after surgery, but it is well worth it for the long-term benefits. If you’ve lost teeth and need them replaced, visit our Farber Center offices in Medford or Hauppauge, NY, for an exam and consultation.