If you’re considering a procedure that involves dental implants, it’s good to commit to the procedure with all the facts. It’s strongly advised to know exactly how the procedure will affect you and make sure you have a realistic understanding of the recovery process, so you don’t do too much or damage your new implants just after having them fitted.
As experts in this field, we’re here to help you understand and plan for your recovery and make sure you know everything you could possibly need to help with the healing process.
How long does it take to heal from dental implants?
If you’re having a procedure that doesn’t involve any grafts of any kind, such as bone grafts, and you aren’t having any rebuilding done, the average surgical recovery time should be around a week. The first three days after your procedure will be the most crucial for recovery, as you will most likely suffer from some swelling and bruising around the implant site and will need to look after your mouth with extra care.
You will have a review meeting with your dentist after a week to make sure that everything is progressing and healing as it should. While you won’t need another check after that point, it’s important to know that the implant can take up to three months to integrate with the bone beneath.
If you are having bone grafts or any rebuilding work, the recovery time may be a little longer since the procedure will be more complicated. The first three days will still be the most crucial for healing, since the bruising and swelling will also occur here, and the healing process will be similar to simpler procedures mentioned above. The post-op protocol might change, however. Instead of one review meeting after a week, you will have a review at both one and two weeks following the procedure.
Tips for recovering from dental implant surgery
Recovery from dental implant surgery is a careful process, since you don’t want to damage the implant site or the tissue around it.
For that reason, we would recommend avoiding using an electric toothbrush around the site and instead using a soft, single tufted manual brush to clean around the site gently. Don’t brush around the implant site on Day 1 after the procedure. You can start brushing around Day 2 or 3 but if the site is still too sensitive, you can simply wet your toothbrush with some mouthwash – we recommend Bluem Mouthwash – and clean the area gently.
Ensure you take your recommended painkillers and always try to take them on time, especially if you’re using anti-inflammatory medication. Don’t stop taking them if you don’t feel any pain, since when the pain comes back it can be harder to combat. Ensure you take your medication regularly.
Try not to lift or move your lips to look at the implant site – this behaviour could damage the tissue around the site and slow down the healing process.
What should you eat after dental implants?
When first recovering from dental implant surgery, we would recommend sticking to a soft diet. It’s important to avoid eating anything that could wedge within the implant, such as anything with grains, pips and seeds.
Also, make sure you don’t consume anything crunchy that could be abrasive against the soft tissue, such as crunchy bread rolls or cereal bars, since they can damage the tissue and prevent you from healing.
Is there anything else to be aware of about dental implants?
When choosing where to get your dental implant procedure carried out, make your decision based on more than simply the cost. There are a lot of other factors to consider that could affect your post-op recovery and the experience of the procedure.
There are many types of dental implants available so, when choosing a dentist, choose a practice that uses one of the well-known companies that produce dental implants. You’ll receive a batch number for your implant, which will be very helpful if there is any kind of problem either during or after the procedure. If you choose an unknown company or product, there could potentially be more complications if the recovery and healing process doesn’t go to plan, since there may not be any equipment available to remove the implant and sourcing a new one could be difficult.
Also consider the distance you’re considering travelling to the practice where you’ll have your procedure. The cheapest option may be quite far away, which you could think is reasonable if you’re just visiting for the treatment, but you need to consider the post-op recovery protocol of the practice – you may need to travel back at least once. Are you willing to travel that distance multiple times, or would it be easier to choose a more local, trusted practice that you could get to easily?
Finally, once the procedure has been carried out and you’re through the recovery period, don’t stop looking after your dental implant. It’s imperative to the continued good performance and quality of your implant that you maintain a good oral hygiene routine and visit a hygienist regularly.
Dental implants are no longer a new system anymore. After 30+ years of building experience in this field, we at the Windsor Centre for Advanced Dentistry have a wealth of data and knowledge at our fingertips to make sure that your dental implant procedure is a straightforward and successful experience. Take a look at our case studies to see for yourself.