Healing After Dental Implants

Dental implants are a special kind of tooth restoration that can preserve the jawbone to prevent bone loss. This is done by implanting a titanium post into the jawbone which restores the tooth’s root and provides the needed stimulation to regenerate new jawbone cells. 

They also securely hold the tooth in place so you don’t have to worry about shifting teeth. As advantageous as dental implants are, you’ll want to know everything you can about the procedure and the recovery process so you can heal fast and reduce your risk of infection. Read on to learn more about healing from dental implants.

How Long Does It Take to Heal?

Depending on the number of implants you received, whether or not you needed a bone grafting procedure, and how well you follow aftercare instructions, healing from the two minor oral surgeries will take from a few days to 2 weeks. 

The first procedure is the incision and implantation of the titanium post. The healing from the actual surgery will take a maximum of 2 weeks, but the osseointegration process, in which the post becomes fused with the jawbone, will take 3-6 months to complete. 

Once this has occurred, it’s time for the second minor operation - to reopen the gums and attach an abutment. You can expect the same sort of recovery as the first operation. Then, you’ll be ready for your dental crown, which is completely non-invasive.

What to Expect During Recovery

Expect some minor bleeding, swelling, and pain after oral surgery. Bleeding may continue for 48-72 hours after surgery, but should not be excessive. You’ll be given gauze to bite down on for about 30 minutes to an hour and then you’ll want to change them with fresh damp gauze. 

Regularly change your gauze as needed before they become soaked with blood. If bleeding persists, you should try biting into a wet caffeinated tea bag. These contain tannic acid which helps encourage blood clotting.

Swelling will peak 2-3 days after receiving dental implants and can be relieved by elevating your head, applying a cold compress for 20 minutes on and off for the first 24 hours. After 24 hours, you can apply moist heat. 

You may feel some pain or discomfort in the first few days, once the anesthetic has worn off. Take any prescribed pain medication as directed or you can take anti-inflammatory pain medication to get relief. This will also help reduce swelling.

Promoting Healing After Implant Surgery

You need to avoid doing anything that will disturb or dislodge the blood clot at the implant site. Do not spit, drink through a straw, rinse your mouth, or engage in strenuous activity for the first 24 hours. You should not smoke cigarettes for at least 2-3 months.

Stick to soft foods for the first week until you start to feel better and can introduce more normal foods. Chew on the opposite side of your mouth, avoid consuming hot liquids and alcohol for at least the first 24 hours. After 24 hours, you can rinse your mouth with a lukewarm saltwater solution a few times a day and can brush and floss like normal as long as you’re careful to avoid the implant site.

Replace Missing Teeth With Dental Implants

Ready to restore the appearance, function, and structure of your smile with dental implants? Dentures and dental bridges accelerate bone loss while implants prevent it. If you’re wondering if you’re a suitable candidate for implants, contact us at Ortega Family Dental today to schedule a consultation with Dr. Mariam Barikbin.