Healing After Dental Implants: What To Expect

Dental implants are a superior tooth restoration method for placing missing teeth. Unlike dentures, they prevent bone loss, hold the tooth securely in the mouth to prevent shifting, are low maintenance, and can last for a lifetime.

However, you may be curious about how long the recovery period is and what it entails before embarking on the journey yourself. To find out more about the length it takes to heal from the surgery, what you can expect, and how to care for your implants, read on in this blog from Mary Qian Dental Group.

HOW LONG IS IMPLANT RECOVERY?

The length of your recovery can vary depending on a few factors:

  • Whether or not you require bone grafting
  • How many implants you have received
  • The location of the implants
  • Individual healing differences
  • Lifestyle
  • Oral hygiene

You will undergo two minor oral surgeries for dental implants. The first one is to place the implant into the jaw bone and the second is to reopen the gums to attach the abutment. Both of these surgeries have an average recovery period of about 2 weeks.

Most of your symptoms will subside within the first week. However, recovery can take longer for patients who smoke, are receiving multiple dental implants, or have received bone grafts. While your gums will be healed within a few weeks, it will still take 3-6 months for osseointegration to be complete. This is the process of your jawbone fusing with the implant.

Once osseointegration has been complete, we will perform the second surgery to attach the abutment and you’ll need another 2 weeks of recovery. Then, we can finally place the dental crown once it’s ready.

IS IMPLANT RECOVERY PAINFUL?

Because placing dental implants requires performing major oral surgery, it is normal to feel some mild pain, discomfort, or tenderness around the area of the implant during the first week. While the procedure itself is painless because we numb your mouth with a local anesthetic, once the anesthetic wears off hours after the procedure, you’ll start to feel the after-effects.

This discomfort will peak 3-5 days after the implant surgery and then will quickly subside. In the meantime, you can use anti-inflammatory pain medication and apply a cold compress to the area to reduce swelling and inflammation.

The swelling will peak about 2-3 days after the procedure. It is also normal to experience minor bleeding for the first 48-72 hours.

 

POST-IMPLANT RECOVERY & CARE TIPS

There are a lot of things you will need to avoid for the first 24 hours, including smoking, strenuous exercise, drinking alcohol or hot liquids, spitting, sucking through a straw, and rinsing your mouth.

After the first 24 hours, you can swish around a lukewarm saltwater solution 3 times a day. You can brush and floss like normal as long as you avoid the site of the implant. Stick to soft foods only for the first week and then you can start incorporating more foods from your normal diet.

You will need to regularly change your gauze as you bleed for the first 48-72 hours. If bleeding is persistent, you can try biting into a wet caffeinated tea bag that contains tannic acid. This constricts blood vessels to encourage blood clotting.

WHEN TO CONTACT YOUR DENTIST

Dental implant recovery can vary from person to person but healing generally does not take very long, usually about 1 or 2 weeks after surgery. If you have severe or persistent bleeding or pain, you should contact us right away.

If you have a loose implant, swollen gums, difficulty chewing, sensitivity, ulcers, and excessive bleeding, you could have mucositis or peri-implantitis. Contact us at Mary Qian Dental Group today to schedule an appointment with Dr. Mary Qian.

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Dr. Qian is responsive, precise, and goes the extra mile to keep patients comfortable. I’ve had lots of dental work, and as a new patient in the past year, she guided me through the treatment of 2 complicated toothaches. On the lighter side, I was also very pleased with my teeth whitening procedure. Her staff is warm, helpful and professional.

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