What to Expect During Your Dental Implant Recovery
Here, we will review with you just what to expect during the dental implant recovery process. Depending on how many implants you’re getting and the tooth replacement option you’re having, it may vary slightly.
While the procedure itself is pretty straightforward, the recovery process requires a little time, careful attention and follow-up care.
Dental implant treatment is done in phases, each with their own recovery times and precautions. Each patient’s recovery can be different, depending on various things like your overall health, the health of your teeth and jawbone, whether or not you will need bone grafting in addition to the implants, how many implants are needed, and whether or not teeth will be attached to them immediately or not.
Getting Ready for Dental Implants
For some patients, getting ready for dental implants involves removing damaged, decayed, broken or otherwise unhealthy teeth. Sometimes implants can be placed on the same day the teeth are removed. Other times, we need to wait between the extractions and the implant placement. This is typically the case for areas that need bone grafting prior to implant placement.
For patients who are already missing teeth or have very little or poor-quality bone, treatment may begin with bone grafting procedures. Since dental implants are anchored IN bone, it’s important to start with a solid foundation to ensure the long-term success of the implants.
Growing bone takes time. This often means a waiting period between the bone grafting procedure and implant placement. This can range from 6 to 8 weeks, up to 6 months, depending on various factors.
It is important to understand what to expect during the recovery process. In this article, we’ll walk you through the recovery stages and provide some tips for a successful healing experience.
The Day of the Procedure
After your implant surgery, we will provide detailed instructions to follow for the first several days and weeks to come. It’s important to follow these instructions closely to ensure proper healing and to minimize the chances of any complications.
Immediately after your surgery, it’s not uncommon to experience some slight swelling, bleeding, and discomfort. We may prescribe pain medication or recommend over-the-counter pain relievers to help you manage these symptoms. We may also recommend that you apply ice packs to the relevant area of your face on the first day to help reduce inflammation.
For the first few days following your surgery, it’s important to avoid strenuous activity. Especially if you’ve had more extensive treatment, like the placement of several implants, bone grafting or full mouth treatment.
You should also stick to softer foods and avoid chewing near the implant site or using the implant to chew with right away (if an immediate tooth is placed on it). To avoid infection, it’s very important to keep the implant site clean. You should also avoid using straws or engaging in any “sucking’ type motion, as it interferes with the clotting that is necessary to begin healing.
When we schedule your surgery, we will review in detail the post-operative details pertaining to your specific treatment so you can be prepared. We will be sure you know exactly what to expect during your dental implant recovery process.
The post-op instructions may vary from one patient to another, depending on several factors. They will be different for someone who has one single implant than for someone who has had several extractions, bone grafting, and/implants placed. But rest assured, we will be sure you know exactly what to expect for your procedure.
Osseointegration is the process by which the implant fuses with the jawbone. This process typically takes a few months, over which time the implant will gradually become more stable and secure.
During the osseointegration period, it’s important to continue practicing good oral hygiene habits and to avoid putting excessive pressure on the implant site.
We will never make you go with no teeth! With many single tooth implant restorations or some full arch/full mouth restorations we can attach temporary teeth to the implants the same day as the implants are placed.
Other times, when the implants are not quite stable enough at the time of placement to support chewing forces, we can provide temporary teeth in the form of a temporary removable denture or partial.
Our in-house lab allows us the control to be able to provide you with whichever temporary tooth option that best suits your individual circumstances.
Final Prosthetic Placement
After Osseointegration has been attained and the implant has fully fused with the jawbone, (typically 3 months), you will be ready to have the prosthetic tooth (or teeth) attached to the implant(s). This process involves placing an abutment (a small connector piece) onto each implant, which is then used to attach the prosthetic teeth to. Final impressions will be made, and the final prosthesis fabricated.
After the final prosthesis is attached, we will make any adjustments needed will be made to ensure a proper fit and comfortable bite.
Some implant treatments can be fully completed in as few as 3 months, and others can take a year or so to complete. This is something we will be able to gauge (for your treatment) once we’ve been able to examine your mouth, review your history and gather our diagnostic records.
Tips for a Successful Dental Implant Recovery
- Follow your post-operative instructions closely, especially during the first few days after surgery.
- Stick to soft foods. Avoid chewing directly on the implant site until it has fully healed. We will tell you when it’s ok to chew with it.
- Maintain a good oral hygiene routine, including regular brushing and flossing.
- Be sure to keep all follow-up appointments we schedule for you to monitor the implant’s healing.
- Avoid smoking, consuming alcohol and using straws during the recovery process, as these habits can interfere with healing.
- Be patient! Although post-operative discomfort typically only lasts a day or two, the entire recovery process can take up to a few months. It’s important to give your body the time it needs to heal properly.
The recovery process requires careful attention and follow-up care. By understanding what to expect during the recovery process and by following our instructions closely, you can ensure a smooth and successful healing experience.
If you’re considering dental implants, be sure to talk to us about what to expect before, during the recovery process and beyond. With proper care and attention, dental implants can provide a life-long and effective tooth replacement solution.
Give us a call today at (972) 810-1255 or CONTACT US here to book an appointment!