These titanium posts are placed directly in the jawbone to serve as an anchor for a permanent artificial tooth. Typically, dental implants are recommended for anyone missing one or more teeth.
All implant patients will have a unique oral condition impacting their surgery and recovery times, so no set-in-stone recovery time can be provided. That said, we can look at general timelines.
It will usually take 5 to 7 days for all symptoms to fade after dental implant surgery, and anywhere from 2 to 6 months for the gums to heal fully before the artificial tooth can be placed.
While recovery time is generally short for this oral surgery procedure, your timeframe may vary depending on how the procedure went, how well you take care of the surgery area and your health after, and how your body reacts to the implant itself.
What To Expect After Surgery
On the first day, you may notice some symptoms including persistent swelling, pain and/or bleeding. However, try not to fret. These are all expected signs that your body is healing.
To help minimize pain while your body heals and make recovery happen as fast as possible, be careful not to disturb the surgical areas while healing is occurring, and follow your dentist's instructions for care after surgery.
On the second and third days after surgery, your body will continue to heal itself. There maybe be some minor swelling, and mild discomfort and bruising that lasts for a few days. However, this is typically well-managed by medication and post-operative care. If swelling, discomfort or other issues worsen 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.
Speeding up the Healing Process
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 prevent plaque or infection from building 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 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.