Dental implants are titanium posts that are surgically attached to the jawbone to act as an anchor for a permanent artificial tooth. If you are missing one or more teeth then your dentist may recommend dental implants.
The recovery time after dental implants can vary based on a large number of factors. However, there is a general timeline that you can follow throughout the healing process.
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.
Expectations After Dental Implant Surgery
Some symptoms you may experience on the first day include persistent bleeding, swelling and pain. There should be no concerns with these symptoms as they are naturally occurring with any healing process.
By following your dentist's post-op instructions, you can help with making your recovery as quick and comfortable as possible.
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.
Ways to Help During The Healing Process
There are a number of aspects that can impede the healing process such as:
- Poor diet
- Excessive alcohol use
- Lack of proper dental care (such as regular brushing).
One way that you can help during the healing process is to avoid strenuous activities in the days immediately following surgery to prevent dislodging the blood clot and causing bleeding. You should also elevate your head while sleeping when possible.
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.
It is crucial to continue with routine oral hygiene at home to ensure that no plaque builds up in the area around the implant. 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.
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.
Tooth Replacement With Dental Implants
Even after the healing has initially been completed, your bone with continue to form a strong bond with the implant.
In some cases, a tooth replacement can be added immediately. More commonly, a tooth replacement such as a crown or bridge will be added anywhere from 2 to 6 months after the implant has been placed and the gums are fully healed.