The recovery period for a dental implant surgery is typically 3 to 6 months. Our Ottawa dentists explain the dental implant healing process and provide you with post surgery recovery tips.
Dental Implants are usually a recommended option for anyone with missing teeth or a damaged tooth that needs to be removed. Dental implants are titanium posts that are surgically attached to the jawbone to act as an anchor for a permanent artificial tooth.
Like with most surgeries, the time it takes for the entire dental implant procedure to heal and recover is variable. It depends on your overall oral health, the type of surgery you require, and whether or not you will need tooth extractions or bone grafting.
It typically takes 5 to 7 days post surgery for all the symptoms to subside, and anywhere from 3 to 6 months for the jaw and gums to fully heal before the artificial tooth can be placed on the implant.
What To Expect During Dental Implant Recovery
Whether your dentist performs your procedure in one stage or several, you could experience minor discomfort — like you would with any other surgery.
Post surgery dental implant discomforts could include:
- Bleeding may occur for about 48-72 hours
- Bruising may occur on your gums and face for about 2-3 days
- Swelling of your face and gums for about 2 days
- Minor pain and discomfort is likely for a few days post surgery
But don't worry! These are all expected signs that your body is healing itself.
On the second and third days after surgery, your body will continue to heal itself. If discomfort, swelling or any other issue becomes worse 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.
Dental Implant Recovery Tips
To help make your recovery faster and minimize pain during healing it is important to follow your dentists instructions for post-surgery care.
Here are some tips to support your post-dental implant recovery:
- For the first 24 hours be sure to rest and avoid strenuous activities. Apply ice to your jaw for 30 minutes, remove for 20 minutes, and repeat.
- After 24 hours, begin to gently rinse with salt water, using eight ounces of warm water mixed with a 1/2 teaspoon of salt.
- Eat soft, cool foods. Avoid foods that are too cold, hot, chewy, tough or spicy.
- Avoid drinking carbonated beverages, alcohol or drinking from a straw. Also, avoid smoking for a few days after your operation.
- Pay attention for signs of infection, such as fever or swelling that lasts more than a couple days. Call your doctor if you notice these signs.
Maintaining oral hygiene and home care is essential to recovery and helps to ensure that no plaque or infection builds up around the gums.
Adding the Dental Crown
Once the initial healing has taken place, usually 3 - 6 months, the implants will have integrated in your jawbone bone and your gums will be fully healed. At this time your customized dental crown or bridge can be placed on the implant.