All on 4 dental implants are an excellent, modern option for patients looking to replace lost teeth. As with any dental surgery, one of the biggest concerns potential patients have is the recovery process and we commonly are asked about dental implant recovery diets.
If you’re considering All on 4 implants or have recently had them, you may be unsure how to manage your own dental implant recovery diet. If so, this article is for you. We’ll cover the basics of your diet before and after dental implant surgery and give specific, detailed advice on everything involved with eating after All on 4 surgery.
What are All on 4 Implants?
All on 4 implants are a complete set of replacement teeth. Unlike individual implants that use one setting impeded in the jaw for each tooth, All on 4 implants fix an entire bridge (set) of top or bottom teeth using only four implants. This minimises the surgery required and significantly improves post procedure comfort and recovery time.
Implants in general do require a more significant surgery than replacing teeth with traditional dentures. Choosing implants therefore does come with a unique recovery process and risks. The trade off is that All on 4 implants also have significant advantages over traditional false teeth when it comes to fit, comfort and looks.
Diet before All on 4 Implant Surgery
Your diet prior to receiving your implants won’t affect the success of your surgery. It is important to note however, that there may be dietary changes involved in managing any tooth or gum disease you are already experiencing that have led you to consider all on 4 implants. As always it is best to follow the advice of your dentist and other medical practitioners closely including advice on diet. It’s important to remember that your all on 4 implant surgery will be performed under general anaesthesia. This does mean that you won’t be able to eat anything for around eight hours prior to your implant procedure.
Eating after All on 4 Implants
Following your implant procedure, looking after the surgical site is vital to promote quick healing and strengthening of your new implants. One of the most important things you will do during aftercare will be following a good dental implant recovery diet. Be prepared and ensure you have your kitchen and pantry set up ready to follow the recommended diet planning your all on 4 treatment.
What is a soft diet?
Eating in the weeks and months after All on 4 implant surgery will involve following what medical practitioners refer to as a soft diet. A soft food diet is exactly what it sounds like – You’ll be avoiding hard, crunchy or ‘difficult to chew’ foods as much as possible. Instead you’ll be trying to supplement your diet with more nutritious liquid foods and drinks and selecting foods with soft textures that are easy to chew and swallow.
Why is a soft diet important after All on 4 surgery?
There are two good reasons to carefully follow your recommended diet after all on 4 surgery. The first is to help minimise post procedure discomfort as much as possible. Dental implant surgery is modernised, but it is still significant surgery. Biting and chewing hard, solid foods immediately after surgery would be extremely painful. The second is that the less stress you put on your new implants in the weeks after surgery, the better they can heal and settle into the bone of your jaw. This process is vital to getting a good, comfortable long-term fit from your implants. Knowing what to eat after all on 4 surgery is the best way you can help the healing process and get the best results from your all on 4 implants.
Recommended diet after All on 4 Implants
The first two weeks after surgery are when your new implants will be their most delicate. This is also the period during which you will experience the most discomfort. Your jaw, mouth and throat will likely be tender and you probably won’t feel like chewing.
The first few days
You’ll begin your dental implant recovery diet by sticking to liquids only. For the first two days it’s best to further limit yourself to cool drinks. Hot or spicy drinks can cause irritation and swelling that you could do without immediately after surgery. The good news is a liquid diet doesn’t have to be as grim as it first sounds. Smoothies and protein shakes will help you improve the substance of what you’re eating. Yoghurts and custards are also ok. Drinking plenty of water is definitely important to stay hydrated and can be supplemented with fruit juices and milk.
The first few weeks
After a few days you’ll be through the most sensitive parts of your recovery and you can start to relax the parameters of what you’re having for dinner while still sticking to a liquid diet. Temperature will be less of an issue now and you can go back to enjoying your favourite teas or coffee to add variety to your diet. Soups can be added to your menu and ice cream is a great choice for dessert. During the liquid phase of your diet it’s important to follow a couple of tips when preparing your meals. If you’re making smoothies or shakes, make sure they are well blended to avoid surprise chunks becoming an issue for your implants. Definitely avoid the temptation to drink through a straw as the sucking motion may loosen clots and lead to bleeding or irritation at the site of your implants.
The first few months
After two weeks you can return to some solid foods, while still sticking to a soft diet. Soft breads, eggs and cheese will be welcome additions to meal time. Soft fruits like banana are also ok after the first few weeks. We recommend mashed potato or vegetables as an excellent staple during the early stages of your soft dental implant recovery diet. Soft, cooked cereals like oatmeal are another good idea. Pureed vegetables and well cooked meats such as stews can also add some substance to the savoury part of your diet. If you’re struggling to fill out your daily intake or are still struggling to chew comfortably, thicker liquids like the shakes and smoothies you made during the first two weeks are still ok to add to your meal time.
Have more questions?
We hope you’ve gathered the idea that with careful planning, eating after All on 4 implant surgery isn’t as difficult or as bland as you might think. In any case the advantages of an All on 4 bridge over other denture options are well and truly worth the recovery process including dietary changes.
If you’re considering All on 4 implants, Kew Dentistry is a specialist All on 4 clinic. Get in touch with us today to book a consultation. We’ll be more than happy to answer any question you have about your potential All on 4 dental implant recovery diet, other aspects of aftercare, or the All on 4 procedure in general.