Dental implants permanently replace missing teeth, effectively improving dental function and enhancing the smile’s appearance. Placing dental implants is a surgical process and patients should be prepared for recovery after surgery. Dr. Chetan S. Patil provides patients with a detailed outline for dental implant surgery recovery during patient consultations at his practice in Englewood, NJ.
Each patient’s recovery will vary based on such factors as personal healing times, the number of implants placed, and whether or not a bone graft was performed prior to implant treatment. With that said, let’s take a moment to consider what to expect during dental implant recovery. To receive your personalized recovery overview, we welcome you to schedule a consultation with Dr. Patil.
The First Few Days Of Recovery
During the first few days following dental implant surgery, patients should expect to experience some swelling and minor discomfort. Swelling is typically most prevalent during the first 48 hours after surgery and may be relieved by applying ice packs to the jaw. Ice packs can also help reduce pain or discomfort along with taking doctor approved over-the-counter pain medications.
During the first few days of recovery, patients must refrain from spitting, using a straw, or touching the implant site to prevent disturbing the dental implant and reduce the risk of infection. Although care should be taken to avoid the implant site, oral hygiene should not be neglected. Keeping the mouth clean is necessary to reduce the risk of infection and have a full recovery. Using a small, child’s sized, soft-bristled toothbrush is recommended to prevent irritation to the implant site as it heals. Gargling with warm salt water several times a day can also help keep the mouth clean and soothe discomfort.
It’s also important for those who smoke to refrain from smoking throughout the recovery process. Smoking during dental implant recovery interferes with the body’s ability to heal itself and significantly increases the risk of dental implant failure.
The First Week Of Recovery
Throughout the first week of recovery, patients should stick to a diet of soft foods such as yogurt, pudding, and soups. Any crunchy foods or foods with small seeds or kernels should be avoided as these can become lodged within the implant site or irritate the tissues as they heal.
It’s also important for patients to stay diligent with their oral hygiene and continue to brush and floss regularly. However, care should be taken to avoid brushing where the implant was placed.
By the end of the first week, or shortly after, patients should begin to see a significant decrease in swelling and discomfort.
Six Weeks After Surgery And Beyond
By six weeks after surgery, most patients will be recovered enough to resume eating their normal diet. Although a full recovery from dental implant surgery can take three to six months, most patient’s gums will be healed well before six weeks after surgery.
Most patients will have a temporary restoration placed at the time of their dental implant surgery. This temporary restoration will stay in place until osseointegration, a natural process in which the bone fuses with the implant, is complete. The length of time required for osseointegration to complete will vary for each patient, but typically takes between three to six months. Once osseointegration has occurred, the temporary restoration may be removed and replaced with the final restoration, effectively restoring dental function and appearance.
Learn More About Dental Implant Surgery
Minimally invasive procedures generally mean minimal discomfort after treatment. Chao Pinhole Surgical Technique patients will experience minor side effects after the procedure and will not require powerful pain medications or extended time off from work to address their discomfort.