Should You Avoid Alcohol after Dental Implant Surgery?

Dr. Degel Jun 5, 2020

Two people toasting with wine glassesFollowing dental implant surgery at our Queens, NY practice, serving Long Island and NYC, recommended guidelines should be followed closely to reduce the risk of complications. Drinking alcohol after dental implant surgery should be avoided to promote healing. Abstaining from alcoholic beverages gives your body time to recover after any surgical procedure. In this blog post, Dr. Clifford Degel and Dr. Carmen Every-Degel explain the reasoning behind this recommendation and discuss how alcohol consumption can affect your dental implants.

How Long Should I Avoid Alcohol after Dental Implant Surgery?

After dental implants are placed, they are the most vulnerable within the first 72 hours. For this reason, our team recommends abstaining from alcohol for at least three days following your surgery.

During these first few days, your body will need to rebuild tissue, bone cells, and blood vessels. Alcohol can interfere with this healing process and delay recovery.

5 Ways Alcohol Consumption Can Affect Recovery

We have determined that alcohol can have a negative impact on the healing process. In the sections below, we will discuss exactly how alcohol stunts recovery.

#1: Alcohol Interferes with Osseointegration

Once implants are placed in the jawbone, a fusion process called osseointegration begins. During this process, the bone tissue grows into tiny pores on the implant surface. Osseointegration is essential for the long-term health of your implant. Drinking alcohol can disrupt this process and lead to implant failure.

#2: Alcohol Causes Dry Mouth

It is no surprise that alcohol has a drying effect on the body, including the oral cavity. When the oral tissues are dehydrated, proper healing is impeded. This can also lead to increased sensitivity.

#3: Alcohol Can Increase Discomfort

Drinking alcohol can cause the vessels and capillaries in the gums to dilate. As a result, pain and tenderness become heightened.

If you are tempted to grab a drink, choose water instead. To alleviate discomfort, take over-the-counter pain medications as prescribed by your dentist.

#4: Alcohol Increases the Risk of Avascular Necrosis

Also referred to as AVN, avascular necrosis causes the blood vessels in the area to become blocked. As a result, essential nutrients are not transported to the surgical site, and the bone eventually dies.

Alcohol increases the risk of AVN by increasing fat content in the blood. This could potentially lead to a blood clot in the jaw. In one research study, a patient drank alcohol the day after dental implant surgery and it led to significant post-operative complications.

#5: Heavy Drinking Affects Long-term Health of Dental Implants

We know that drinking alcohol immediately after dental implant surgery can impede healing. But what about the long-term effects? Excessive alcohol consumption can have a negative effect on blood supply. Over time, this can contribute to dental implant failure.

Once initial healing is complete, patients can enjoy the occasional glass of wine or bottle of beer. Moderation is key.

Contact Our Practice for More Information

If you are considering dental implant surgery, or have recently undergone the procedure, it is important to closely follow all post-op guidelines. To learn more about recovery after dental implant surgery, contact our practice at (718) 278-1123.

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