Our patients always ask, “What is the recovery time and process for implants?” We work hard to make sure that all of our patients have the smoothest and quickest recovery possible so that they can get back to a normal life. This is possible by following just a few simple steps!
After getting one or more dental implants, the recovery is significantly short and a lot of patients are actually able to go to work the next day. However, recovery time depends on how the procedure went, how well you take care of yourself after, and how your body reacts to the implant. Usually, it will take about 5 to 7 days for all of the symptoms to subside. However, some patients may experience a longer recovery time due to certain factors, such as a history of health problems, the number of implants placed and if a sinus lift or bone graft was needed.
The longest part of the recovery process is during the Osseointegration phase, which takes about 2 to 4 months. Osseointegration derives from the Greek word, osteon (bone), and the Latin word, integrate (to make whole). This means that the bone fuses to the implant to become stable enough to hold a tooth on it. Once this process is finished, the dental implant is ready for a crown to be attached.
After surgery, some bleeding or redness is normal for 24 hours. Excessive bleeding can be controlled by biting on a gauze pad placed directly on the bleeding wound for 30 minutes. Do not keep the same roll of gauze in longer than 30 minutes and the maximum amount of time using gauze should be 3 hours total.
Swelling is also a normal occurrence after surgery. To minimize swelling, apply an ice pack, small plastic bag of ice or a towel filled with ice on the cheek. Apply the ice in 30 minute increments (on and off) for the first 24 hours after surgery.
Do not disturb the wound. Avoid spitting, or touching the wound for a few days after surgery. You may brush your teeth regularly, but be cautious when brushing near the surgical sites. Healing abutments can be brushed like normal teeth. However, if the area is tender, avoid doing so initially.
Warm salt water rinses can be made by mixing ½ teaspoon of salt in a cup of warm water and should be used at least 4-5 times a day, especially after meals.
Keep physical activities to a minimum for several days following surgery. Avoid bending over, and heavy lifting or straining. Keep in mind that you are probably not taking normal nourishment. This may weaken you and further limit your ability to exercise.
Drink plenty of fluids! Soft foods, such as mashed potatoes, yogurt, applesauce, and ice cream can be eaten on the day of surgery. Avoid hot liquids or food. You may return to a normal diet 1 to 2 days after surgery unless otherwise directed by your oral surgeon.
We hope this helps you know what to expect after your dental implant surgery. If you use these suggestions along with your oral surgeons specific recommendations, your road to recovery will be an easy one! Please call our office if you have any questions: 843-762-9028.