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 set-in-stone recovery time for all implant patients since each patient will have a unique oral condition that affects the surgery and their recovery. However, we can look at general timelines.
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 the recovery time for this oral surgery procedure is generally short, it can vary depending on how well the procedure went, how well you take care of yourself afterward, and how your body reacts to the implant.
What To Expect After Surgery
Some symptoms you may experience on the first day include persistent bleeding, swelling and pain. But don't fret! These are all expected signs that your body is healing itself.
To help make your recovery faster and minimize pain during healing, be careful not to disturb the surgical areas while it's healing, and follow your dentist's instructions for post-surgery care.
Your body will continue to heal itself on the second and third days following surgery. There may be some minor swelling, discomfort, and bruising that lasts a few days. However, medication and post-operative care typically keep this under control. Contact your dentist if swelling, discomfort, or other issues worsen in the days following your procedure.
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
Smoking, poor diet, excessive alcohol use, and a lack of proper dental care can all delay or impair dental implant recovery time and healing (such as regular brushing). We also advise dental implant patients to avoid strenuous activities in the days following surgery in order to avoid dislodging the blood clot and causing bleeding. When it's time to sleep, use extra pillows to elevate your head.
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 cases, a tooth replacement can be placed right away. A tooth replacement, such as a crown or bridge, is usually added 2 to 6 months after the implant has been placed and the gums have healed completely.