Dental implants are titanium posts that are surgically attached to the jawbone to act as an anchor for a permanent artificial tooth. Dental implants are usually a recommended option for anyone missing one or more teeth.
There is no absolute recovery time for the recovery from placing dental implants. Each patient will have a unique oral condition, general health and more than can affect their surgery and recovery time. However, there are some general timelines that may be helpful.
It typically takes 5 to 7 days for all the symptoms to subside after dental implant surgery, and anywhere from 2 to 6 months for the gums to fully heal before the artificial tooth can be placed.
While recovery is generally short for this oral surgery procedure, recovery time can vary depending on how the procedure went, how well you take care of yourself after, and how your body reacts to the implant.
What To Expect After Surgery
Some symptoms that you may experience on your first day of recovery include swelling, pain and bleeding. But don't worry, these are all to be expected since your body is healing itself.
To help you with faster recovery and minimal pain during your recovery process, don't disturb the surgical area while it is healing and ensure that you follow your dentist's instructions carefully for post-operative care.
On the second and third days after surgery, your body will continue to heal itself. There maybe be some minor swelling, and mild discomfort and bruising that lasts for a few days. However, this is typically well-managed by medication and post-operative care. If swelling, discomfort or other issues worsen in the days following your procedure, contact your dentist.
After about 7 to 10 days, most patients can return to a normal diet. In some cases, patients may be advised to stick to a soft diet for up to 6 weeks following the procedure.
Speeding up the Healing Process
Dental implant recovery time and healing processes can be impaired or delayed by poor diets, smoking, alcohol consumption and the lack of proper dental care such as brushing and flossing. We also advise that patients who have undergone dental implant surgery avoid strenuous activities in the days immediately following their procedures. This may dislodge the blood clot that has formed in their incision site and cause poor healing and bleeding.
When it's time to go to bed, elevate your head using extra pillows.
Other factors that could impact recovery time include the number of teeth that needed to be extracted and implanted; whether the bone is healthy enough for the implants to bond to; if the procedure required bone grafting; and individual differences in healing time.
Maintaining oral hygiene and home care is essential to recovery and helps to ensure that no plaque or infection builds up around the gums. After 24 hours, you can also begin to gently rinse with salt water, apply ice as needed, and be sure to rest as much as possible.
Adding a Tooth Replacement
Once the initial healing has taken place, the implants will continue to naturally bond with the bone.
In some instances, a replacement tooth can be added to the implant immediately. More commonly, a tooth replacement like a bridge or crown will be added anywhere from 2 to 6 months after a dental implant has been placed and the gums are fully healed.