How Long is the Dental Implant Recovery Process?

Dental Implants FAQs > Recovery Process

By: Kelsey Blair 

Published: 10/30/2018

If you’re considering dental implants, you should understand not only how the procedure will affect you but also have a realistic understanding of recovery process. We are here to help you plan for your recovery and to show you how you can aid the healing process.

Calendar with Dental Implant Recovery Date Circled

1. How Long Does it Take to Recover From a Dental Implant Procedure?

There is no set recovery time that will apply to all dental implant patients, as every surgery is affected by the unique oral conditions of the patient. Recovery time can be affected by the following:

  • How many teeth you have extracted and implanted—are you receiving a single dental implant, multiple implants, or a implants for a whole jaw or mouth?
  • Whether your surgery requires bone grafting.
  • Whether you have healthy bone for your implants to bond to.
  • Individual healing time and differences.

2. Are Dental Implants Painful to Have Done?

Pain tolerance is relative to each person, however, most patients experience some swelling and minimal discomfort immediately after surgery. In fact, most patients resume their normal daily activities as soon as 24 to 48 hours post surgery. The type of procedure you have done also determines the amount of pain you may feel after surgery:

  • What is a simple procedure? If your surgery replaces just a single tooth, and if you have healthy bone and grafting is not required, you are likely to experience minimal discomfort. This is considered a simple procedure. In fact, other than some minor bruising and swelling, you should have an easy recovery. The best thing to do after a simple procedure is to rest, eat only soft food for a few days, and gently brush your teeth.
  • What is a moderate procedure? The majority of patients undergo a moderate procedure, and will generally experience some bruising, swelling, and discomfort after their dental implant surgery. Luckily, medication is available to help with pain, and the healing process should take no more than about seven days. Seven to 10 days post surgery, you might consider a more normal diet, though you should continue to avoid tougher foods, such as steak, until the whole process has been completed.
  • What is a difficult procedure? Some patients may find that recovery takes longer. For patients that experience difficult surgery or have receive many implants, eating only soft food for six weeks after surgery is often recommended. Individual intolerances can also contribute to a difficult post-surgical experience. Again, medication will be prescribed to you, and you should always follow the doctor's instructions post-surgery.

3. What Can I Eat and Drink After Surgery?

Eating soft foods, basically whatever you can cut with the side of a fork, is necessary immediately following any implant surgery. If you underwent a simple or moderate procedure, you can typically resume your normal diet within seven to 30 days. If you underwent a difficult procedure or experienced more pain than normal, eat soft foods for up to six weeks and consult your doctor. Puréed foods, smoothies, and protein shakes are great options. Do not eat extremely hot foods and avoid hot beverages like coffee or tea. Also, do not drink from a straw until your mouth is healed and do not drink alcohol.

4. Can I help the Healing Process?

There are numerous ways that you can help the healing process and give your body the best possible chance of a quick recovery. Here are a few guidelines to help aid your recovery.

  • Stop smoking or minimize smoking for at least a week, post-surgery.
  • Do not drink alcohol.
  • Eat healthy, nutritious, soft food. You can continue eating healthy fruits and vegetables by blending them into smoothies.
  • Regularly brush your teeth and implants softly.
  • Avoid hot foods or drinks.
  • Do not drink with a straw until your mouth has healed.
  • Movement—bending and quickly standing can increase bleeding and cause discomfort in some cases immediately following surgery. Spend the first day of your recovery resting, in bed, or sitting still.
  • Give yourself at least four days to recover before exercising.

5. What is the Failure Rate of Dental Implants?

Generally the failure rate of dental implants is very low. With proper care, dental implants have approximately a 95% success rate and are intended to be a lifetime solution as opposed to temporary fixes like dentures or flippers. Regular dental visits and a home-care routine including brushing are crucial to ensuring the longevity of your dental implants. If you ever have an issue with your implants, contact your doctor immediately and we can help.

Ask Your Doctor

Your dental implant specialists will have their own insight into how much recovery time you might need. With knowledge of your medical background and the specifics of your procedure, your doctor is likely to give you a more accurate prediction as to when you’ll be back on your feet and thriving. At EON Clinics, we encourage you to discuss every concern about your procedure with your doctor. We are happy to answer any questions. Simply get in touch with our team to find out more about whether dental implants are right for you or to discuss the recovery process in more detail.