Dental implants offer one of the best solutions for long-lasting tooth restoration. But it’s important to know what to expect for dental implant recovery if you are planning to have this surgery. Even though it takes time to recover after the placement of a dental implant, many patients agree that it’s worth the long-term benefits.
There are several stages of the dental implant placement and healing process. As you are considering dental implant recovery time, it’s helpful to understand these stages so you can anticipate how you will feel throughout this treatment period.
What Is the Healing Timeline for Dental Implants?
What are the stages of wound healing around implants? Here is an overview of implant recovery: dental steps that are followed before, during, and after the surgery.
Once it is determined that you are a good candidate for dental implants and you decide to move forward with this procedure, you will choose a date to have this surgery. As you are preparing for the surgical stage, you’ll want to clear your schedule in the following days to allow time for dental implant recovery.
During the first stage, the actual surgery is completed. This involves placing a dental post in the jawbone to act as the “root” of the restoration. Proper placement helps to establish the strong foundation that is necessary for holding the new tooth in place.
Immediately after the surgery, you won’t feel any pain because the local area is numb. But as the numbing medication wears off, it’s common to experience discomfort and pain. Many patients choose to take either over-the-counter or prescription pain medication to improve their comfort during this stage of dental implant recovery. You’ll want to take a few days off work so you can stay home and relax.
Osseointegration: Initial Dental Implant Healing
Not only do you need recovery time for dental implants so the pain can subside, but this healing time is also important so the implant post can fuse into the bone. This step is crucial and will influence the long-term success of your dental restoration.
After the surgery, the jawbone will start to fuse with the implant. This process holds the implant in place firmly. In the initial recovery time, following post-surgical instructions will help with the success of this osseointegration. For example, you should only be eating soft foods.
Even when the initial healing process ends, the implant will continue bonding with the jawbone for another 3 – 6 months.
Restoration Stage for Dental Implants
When the dentist has determined that the implant is securely fused in the bone, then it’s time to place the long-term restoration. Remember that the implant is only acting as the foundation or base of the restoration. The final step is to place a crown or bridge that is attached to the abutment on the implant.
This step restores the appearance of your smile and allows you to enjoy full functionality once again with eating and talking. Even though you can’t see the dental implant (because it is under the gums), it is an essential element to hold the dental restorations in place.
How Do I Know If My Dental Implant Is Healing Correctly?
The dental implant recovery process is similar to other dental procedures and surgeries. Most patients can expect to have discomfort and pain for at least a few days – sometimes even more. Just because you are in pain doesn’t necessarily impact how the dental implant is healing.
If you have dissolving stitches, they will naturally fade with time. The swelling will start to go down, and you shouldn’t have any continued bleeding. If you notice that the pain is increasing, the dental implant site is bleeding, or other signs of infection, then it’s important to talk to your dental surgeon as soon as possible.
When you visit the surgeon for your follow-up appointments, an examination and digital imaging can be helpful to determine the positioning of the implant post to ensure it stays in place as desired.
Pay attention to the color of the gums around the implant placement site. If there is an infection, then you might notice that the gums look red and irritated. The infected area of the gums will have a brighter, different color compared to the healthy areas of the gums. As your implant continues to heal, the gums return to a normal pinkish color that blends in well with the rest of your gums.
Also, keep in mind that the implant post should remain stable and in place during this dental implant recovery time. If you notice that the implant doesn’t seem to be properly seated on the gums or is wobbly, then don’t delay a checkup with your surgeon. You should schedule an appointment immediately to minimize the complications of an implant failure.
How Long Are Implants Sore?
Most patients need about 2 weeks for dental implant surgery recovery. After this time, the implant site will be feeling a lot better. You might notice a bit of sensitivity or tenderness, but everything should feel normal and healed within two weeks post-surgery.
If the pain is uncomfortable, then over-the-counter medications can help manage your discomfort. Also, some dental surgeons offer prescription medications as well.
How Long Does It Take for Dental Implant to Fuse to Bone?
Even though this fusion process can begin in the early stages of dental implant recovery, it takes months of healing time before the implant will be fused to the bone. Your dentist will suggest checkups to evaluate the progress and help you determine the ideal timeline for placing the permanent dental restoration on the implant post.
As a general rule of thumb, most patients need 3 – 6 months for full recovery from dental implants. Even after the swelling and pain subside, important things are still happening under the gum surface to secure the implant post in place.
During this phase of dental implant recovery, there isn’t really a way to know if the implant is fusing in the bone properly. It takes time to allow the implant to stabilize. When you go back to the surgeon for follow-up appointments, a few different methods can be used to check the stability of the post.
What Is the Success Rate of Dental Implants?
Most patients have nothing to worry about when it comes to dental implant recovery. Even though it takes time for the surgical site to heal, the pain to go away, and the swelling to subside, the likelihood of success with this surgery is high. In fact, recent numbers show that up to 96% of dental implants heal without any problems.
Are Dental Implants Right for You?
If you need dental restoration, implants might be a great option. Even though it takes time to fully heal from dental implant recovery, it’s worth the discomfort because of the life-long restoration that will improve your smile and dental function at the same time.
For more information about dental implant recovery and treatments, reach out to our team at myDental. We offer full-service solutions for patients of all ages. You are invited to book an appointment at one of our nearby locations. Call any time for more information about general dentistry and cosmetic services.