The healing and recovery phase of dental implants is a two-fold process. Initially, it will take a week or two for your gums to fully heal from the oral surgery so that life can return to normal. While it does, your dental implant is still fusing to your bone before it can hold an artificial tooth — and that process can take about 3 to 6 months to fully heal.
Understanding Dental Implants
Dental implants are one of the most popular options for replacing a missing tooth or multiple teeth. They work so well because they are given time to create a solid anchor to hold an artificial tooth that looks and functions much like a real tooth.
A small post is implanted into the jaw bone where it is left to heal and undergo a process known as osseointegration. This is when the implant itself fuses with the bone to become one. Once it does, an abutment is attached to the implant to hold a custom dental crown.
Patients will be able to benefit from the look and feel of the dental implant and rely on its strength and functionality. This is what makes dental implants the ideal solution for replacing missing a tooth or multiple missing teeth.
While reaching the full benefit of dental implants will take some time, and many find the results well worth the process.
Timeline for Dental Implant Healing
So, what does the timeline for dental implant healing look like? Because you don’t want to do anything that could cause your implant to fail, it is important to understand the timeline for healing — and follow all recommendations from a dentist who specializes in implant dentistry.
Below is a general timeline of the dental implant recovery process. Your implants may take a little longer, or a little less depending on your overall health and oral health, to reach the desired results.
The First 24 Hours of Healing from Dental Implants
The first couple of hours after getting dental implants won’t include any pain or discomfort as the area is still going to be numb. You will likely be sent home with a piece of gauze in your mouth that you were instructed to bite down on. This will help a blood clot to form and allow initial healing to begin.
Once the numbness wears off, expect to feel some pain or discomfort. Over-the-counter pain medication should offer relief. Expect some minor bleeding throughout the day.
Make sure to get plenty of rest during the first 24 hours.
Days 1 to 3
The next couple of days may be filled with pain, discomfort, and swelling. You may experience some very minor bleeding, too. All of this will slowly begin to subside.
Continue to take it easy and avoid vigorous activity.
Days 3 to 7
This time frame is when you can find yourself slowly getting back into your normal routine. You won’t want to overdo it, but you can start moving a little more and return to daily life.
Doing too much too soon, however, could lead to pain and discomfort at the surgical site.
Weeks 1 to 2
By this time frame – especially by the end of week 2 – your gums should be healed and any sutures can often come out (or dissolve). You will likely also return to your dentist’s office for a follow-up visit to make sure that everything is healing as it should.
Underneath the gum, the implant is still healing and fusing with the jaw bone— and it will take about 3 to 6 months for this to create a sturdy anchor.
Tips for a Successful Recovery
The successful recovery and healing of dental implants can yield lifelong benefits. Here are a few things you can do to ensure it happens:
- Get lots of rest — give your mouth and the implant location time to heal.
- Eat nutrient-dense soft foods while avoiding those that are hard and chewy.
- Use ice packs to help keep swelling at bay.
- Gently rinsing with salt water can promote healing without irritating the surgical site.
- Drink plenty of fluids to rid the body of toxins.
- Maintain good oral hygiene by following your dentist’s instructions for doing so.
- Do not smoke or use a vaping device
The better your care for your overall health and your oral health, the greater chance you have of healing successfully.
Learn More About Dental Implants
Dental implants can greatly improve your quality of life if you have one or more missing teeth. The first step in learning more about dental implants is an evaluation with a dental implant specialist. Dr. Donald Miller of Cosmetic and Reconstructive Dentistry in Fairfield, CT can evaluate the current condition of your jaw bone to determine if it is ready to support an implant. From there, we can either make an appointment for dental implant placement or discuss the alternative options for tooth replacement.
If you would like to learn more about this treatment, including whether or not you are a candidate, the team at Cosmetic & Reconstructive Dentistry can help. Contact us today at 203-255-6878. Or, book an appointment online.
Dr. Miller specializes in implant, general, family, and cosmetic dentistry and is an active member of the Fairfield, CT community. He has practiced dentistry in Fairfield for over 25 years. Get to know Dr. Miller better by visiting our website. You can also read Google Reviews submitted by patients for a personal recommendation.