Like every other surgery, dental implant surgery has a recovery period. Following the insertion of one or more dental implants, there is a fairly short recovery period. In this blog, our Antigonish dentists discuss what you can expect after dental implant surgery and how you can make the recovery process go by as quickly as possible.
Dental implants are titanium posts that are surgically attached to the jawbone to act as an anchor for a permanent artificial tooth. Our dentists usually recommend dental implants for patients that are missing one or more teeth.
There isn't a specific recovery time period for all implant patients because every patient is different and has a unique oral condition that impacts the surgery and their recovery. But, we can share general timelines.
Generally, it 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 typically 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 You Can Expect Following Surgery
A few of the symptoms you might develop on the first day include pain, swelling, and persistent bleeding. But, there is no need to fret! These are all normal signs that indicate your body is healing itself.
You can help speed up your recovery and minimize pain while you heal by doing your best not to disturb the surgical site and carefully following the instructions your dentist has given you for post-surgery care.
On the second and third days after surgery, your body will keep healing itself. There might be a bit of minor swelling, mild discomfort, and bruising that lasts for several days. But, this is generally well-managed with medication and post-operative care. If your swelling, discomfort, or other problems get worse in the days after your surgery, call 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.
Making the Healing Process Faster
Dental implant recovery time and the healing process can be delayed or impaired by smoking, poor diet, excessive alcohol use, and lack of proper dental care (such as regular brushing). We also recommend that dental implant patients avoid strenuous activities in the days immediately following surgery to prevent dislodging the blood clot and causing 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
After the initial healing has occurred, the implants will keep bonding naturally to the bone.
Sometimes 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.