Dental Implant Recovery Timeline

By Edward Sauer on January 21, 2019


Illustration of a dental implantOur patients in Amarillo, TX have options when it comes to tooth replacement treatment. However, for the right candidates, dental implants are considered the best solution for replacing missing teeth and maintaining a strong, healthy jaw.

If you undergo the dental implant procedure, it is important that you know what to do during the recovery and healing process. At Shemen Dental Group LLP, Drs. Eddy Sauer, Jr. and Nathaniel Avirett’s advise patients on what to expect for the dental implant recovery timeline and instructions for post-procedure care.

Dental Implants for a Stronger, Restored Smile

Dental implants are titanium restorations that act as an artificial tooth root. The implant is placed directly into the jawbone.

Implant procedures are safe and have been widely used and studied in the dental industry for well over 50 years. Our dentists and staff are well-trained in the procedure.

After Your Procedure

After receiving an implant, be careful around the surgical site; your gums and mouth will be slightly tender and sensitive for the first few days.

To start feeling better sooner, and encourage osseointegration, follow these recovery guidelines:

  • Right after the procedure, switch out new pieces gauze every half hour or 20 minutes for the first couple hours until bleeding lessens considerably. It is normal for blood to be present in the mouth for up to 48 hours, but if heavy bleeding occurs, call our office.
  • Brush your teeth to maintain a clean mouth, but keep the bristles away from the surgical site for the first 48 hours.
  • Stiff jaw muscles and sore gums are normal. Take pain medication as prescribed or use over-the-counter options as needed.
  • Do not smoke or use tobacco products.
  • Take it easy; do not lift, bend over, or engage in strenuous activities.
  • For the first couple days, do not vigorously rinse with mouthwash, and do not touch the surgical site. Leaving the area alone as much as possible is the best way to help the healing process.
  • Eat soft foods (think soup, applesauce, mashed potatoes) for at least the first two days. Avoid very cold or hot foods.
  • After 36 hours, rinse with a salt water solution or other medicated solution provided by your dentist. This will help keep the surgical site clean and free from infection.

The Timeline of Healing

No specific healing time is standard when it comes to dental implants. Each patient has a unique case; while some patients can have an implant placed immediately, others require dental bone grafting, multiple implants, or additional healing time due to weakened jaw bone tissues.

Many patients can resume normal activities just two to three days after surgery. It is important to give your body ample time to rest and recover, but when you feel better, feel free to increase activity levels.

Below are general guidelines of recovery depending on your specific placement:

  • Simple procedure: If your surgery replaced just a single tooth, and if you had healthy bone tissues with no necessary grafting, you should experience a relatively quick recovery. Minor bruising, tenderness, and swelling is expected. Follow the above guidelines, and it is possible to start feeling better in just a couple of days.
  • Moderate procedure: Many patients fall into this category, with multiple dental implants placed. Bruising, swelling, and pain is common after this procedure. However, with medication and rest, you should start feeling back to yourself in about a week. Around that time, it is okay to start introducing normal foods back into your diet, though especially chewy or crunchy foods should still be avoided until the site has fully healed.  
  • Difficult procedure: Some patients who received extensive bone grafting or several implants may have a longer recovery period. For these patients, you should maintain a soft diet for four to six weeks after surgery. With medication and rest, you should start feeling back to normal in a couple of weeks.

Contact Us for Restorative Dentistry Services

Dental implants restore your jaw and mouth after tooth loss. Many patients experience slight discomfort during the procedure and recovery, but find that its many benefits outweigh any inconveniences. To schedule a consultation about one of our restorative dentistry services, contact our practice online or call (806) 358-2472.

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