You must wonder How Long is the Dental Implant Recovery Process? We are here to answer all your queries:
Dental Implant Recovery Process FAQs
People often wonder what the timeline looks like for the dental implant procedure. There are many variables since this is a customs procedure and the state and shape of your mouth are unique. The following is a general overview of what a dental implant timeline looks like. For more information beyond what is presented here, we recommend that you call us or schedule a free consultation.
1. How Long After an Extraction Can I Get an Implant?
One of the first variables in the dental implant procedure is whether or not you will need extractions. Obviously, unhealthy teeth will need to come out. In certain cases removing a few healthy teeth can make the procedure significantly more affordable. If this is done, it is handled on a case-by-case basis and discussed with you prior.
If your jaw bone is healthy you may be able to receive your implant on the same day your natural tooth is removed. However, if you suffer bone loss or infection, this may not be possible. In these instances, bone grafting may be required.
2. Are Dental Implants Painful?
Do dental implants hurt? This is a common question we get from prospective patients. The dental implant surgery itself is fairly uneventful with minimal pain. We use general anaesthesia and provide a care team dedicated to keeping you safe and comfortable. An All-on-4 is a non-invasive procedure and can sometimes be easier than a root canal. Pain tolerance is different patient to patient but we can always help assist and give you comfort with pain medication if needed. Our patients are often surprised at how simple, quick, and painless the procedure is.
Dental implant recovery is generally pain-free, but you may experience some discomfort. Your pain will very likely be minimal; most patients report pain at a level of 2 on a scale of 1 to 10. Normal swelling and bruising can be anywhere from 3 to 5 days and will go down from there. Many of our patients are back to school or work 1-3 days after their procedure. Keep in mind that healing time will vary by patient.
3. Will I Need to Have a Bone Graft Prior to the Procedure?
When teeth have been missing for some time or in the case of severe infection, your jawbone can sometimes begin to erode. This process is called bone resorption. The CT scan at your consultation will help the doctor determine if bone grafting will be needed before you receive implants.
Bone grafting is a procedure that restores your jaw and creates a good foundation of bone to support your implant. For those that require jaw restoration, four months of healing time between bone grafting and the implant procedure is common.
4. What is the Dental Implant Procedure and the Recovery Process?
When you schedule your dental implant procedure, a surgical liaison will be in touch with you and will answer any and all questions. It’s quite normal for a patient to be put under twilight anaesthesia during the procedure. Medication will be prescribed to help you manage any pain you may experience. However, many patients find that the pain is significantly less than what they anticipated.
It is at this stage that you will receive a temporary prosthesis (bridge or crowns). At practices such as EON Clinics, this happens on the same day as the procedure, so you will leave with a beautiful, natural smile. Be aware, there are a few limitations with this prosthesis until you get your permanent prosthesis (also known as a definitive).
5. How Long Do Dental Implants Take to Heal?
Again because this is a customs procedure and everyone’s mouth is different, the recovery process will vary patient to patient. How long do dental implants take to heal? Typically, you can expect your jaw to fully heal within 6-9 months.
Keep in mind, the healing is mostly behind the scenes, so to speak. You will not feel this process. The only noticeable impact is that you will have to stay away from tougher or very crunchy foods such as steak or almonds.
Recovery time can be affected by the following:
- The number of dental implants you receive—just a single dental implant, multiple implants, or implants for a full jaw or an entire mouth?
- Whether you have a healthy bone for your implants to bond to or you require bone grafting
- Any factors unique to your mouth and body and their ability to heal
- Whether you follow all the instructions in your treatment plan
- Diabetes can affect healing time because it affects circulation which is a key factor in healing.
- Smoking tobacco products can affect healing time due to circulation.
6. What is the final step of the dental implant recovery process?
When your jaw has fully healed, you will receive your “definitive” or final prosthesis! This is attached to your implants via abutments during a quick appointment with a prosthodontist. At this point, you will be able to eat any foods you like. To ensure the long term success of your implants, you MUST hold to a routine of caring for them as you would real teeth.
Brush them twice daily. Floss around a single implant as you would a real tooth. If you have a bridge or an arch, you will need to clean under them using a water flosser. While implants are not vulnerable to cavities, the gum around them is still vulnerable to infections as with real teeth. A buildup of plaque around the base of the implant can negatively impact how long it will last you.
Coming into the clinic for cleanings twice a year is also necessary for long term dental implant success. The cleanings will remove plaque and buildup, and, if any issues are identified, they can often be addressed preemptively.
7. What should I expect from a dental implant consultation?
A consultation with a doctor and treatment coordinator is designed to explain the procedure to you and answer any questions you may have. A treatment coordinator is there to provide guidance and support in making your decision. He or she will ask about what you hope to gain from the procedure and review financing options.
A CT scan, which EON Clinics offers at no cost to you, will be conducted, and the doctor will review the results. From there, the doctor will propose to your treatment or possibly two options depending on the state of your mouth and financial situation.
8. What should I expect from a prosthodontic exam?
The next step after consultation is the prosthodontic exam. At this appointment, the prosthodontist takes impressions of your teeth and jaw. In this exam, the prosthodontist is doing a more thorough analysis of your mouth and dental condition. She or he will also begin to plan the crowns, bridge, or arch that will be placed on your implants once they heal. At this appointment, you will have another chance to address any concerns and discuss what to expect during and after surgery.
10 Tips for a Healthy Dental Implant Recovery
Your surgical team may make other recommendations beyond what’s listed here, but here are some general tips for dental implant recovery:
- Do not blow your nose. If you have to sneeze, please do so with your mouth open to avoid any pressure in the sinus area.
- Do not smoke. This applies to tobacco, cannabis, or smokeless nicotine products. In addition to normal adverse health effects of these products, they can negatively impact your recovery. Smoking or chewing tobacco products, especially in the first week after surgery, can have a hugely negative impact on healing and increase the failure rate for dental implants
- Do not lift or pull up on your lips to look at your stitches. Doing this may cause some tearing or may irritate the gums.
- Do not drink liquids through a straw. This creates a vacuum in your mouth that can be harmful to tissue impacted by the procedure.
- Initially, you will be put on a diet of pureed or finely chopped foods. This will last up to two weeks. After that, do eat any foods that you can’t cut with the side of a fork. Due to the sensitivity of your gums, eating anything too hard can cause pain and/or complications from chewing.
- Avoid very hot foods.
- Apply a cold compress to the sides of the face to help relieve pressure.
- Use a mouth rinse of half a teaspoon of salt, half a teaspoon of baking soda, and eight ounces of water held in your mouth for two to three minutes every hour to help your mouth feel more comfortable.
- Read our tips on how to care for dental implants.
- Get in touch with clinic staff if you need advice or have any questions about dental implant recovery.
Pain Medication and Safety
It is imperative you take any antibiotics prescribed to you and follow guidelines for pain medication. If you feel the dosage of the pain medication is too strong, or the medication is not needed at all, please get in touch with your prosthodontist before making ANY changes.
Please be warned you may experience some bleeding from the nose. This is not uncommon and should pass quickly. You may also be instructed to use an antimicrobial mouth rinse. Please use the mouth rinse as instructed.
Please make sure to get in contact with your prosthodontist if you experience any of the following:
- Uncontrollable or throbbing pain
- Excessive or severe bleeding
- Excessive swelling occurring a few days after your procedure
- Any allergic reactions to the medicine