If you’re considering dental implants, the thought of being able to eat your favourite foods again and getting a stunning smile may be exciting. Yet it is also normal to feel some apprehension regarding the post-surgery healing stages. The recovery process after dental implant treatment can vary from person to person and involve numerous complex steps.
Dental implant healing stages
To ensure that your dental implants function properly, the recovery period is extremely important. Over this time, it’s vital that your dental implants fuse to your jawbone effectively. Your dentist will be able to give you an approximate timeline for the healing stages of your implant surgery; in most cases, they are as follows:
Initial consultation for the dental implant process
Before recommending dental implant surgery, a dentist must assess your oral health and jaw bone density. Unfortunately, if the bone is too weak for implants, you will need to undergo a bone graft procedure before proceeding with the implant surgery. Recovery from this intensive operation usually lasts between three to six months prior to receiving dental implants.
Your dentist will see you on a regular basis until they determine your jawbone has the required strength for dental implants.
During your dental implant surgery
At DDSS, we prioritise patient safety and uphold the highest standards of hygiene set by the Dental Board of Australia Guidelines on Infection Control. As part of our commitment to providing superior dental care services, we ensure that strict hand hygiene protocols are followed during all procedures and consultations. This includes regular hand washing after interactions with patients, as well as frequent use of hospital-grade sanitisers throughout our premises.
To protect our patients and team, we provide alcohol-based hand sanitisers throughout the office, helping to stop the transmission of communicable diseases. Additionally, we thoroughly disinfect our treatment areas and dental tools before as well as after each patient visit for added safety measures.
Initial 24 hours
Following your dental implant procedure, put extra care into monitoring how you feel and the status of your implants. If more than one was inserted, healing may take a bit longer due to multiple surgical sites. You can expect tenderness around each site plus potential discomfort in the jaw area, gums, and teeth as well. Of course, don’t forget to review all aftercare instructions provided by your dentist so that recovery goes smoothly.
When brushing your teeth and abutments, opt for a soft-bristled toothbrush to avoid further irritating the implant site. Additionally, you can use salt water mouthwashes – warm, not hot! – that will help to clean debris away from the area as well as reduce bacteria levels and promote quicker healing.
Your doctor may recommend medication to provide relief for your discomfort post-surgery. Furthermore, be sure to complete any prescribed antibiotics course and utilise cold compresses or ice packs as needed for further respite from pain. Remember that rest is essential after surgery in order to avoid distress and bleeding; therefore, ensure you limit physical activity during this time period.
Two to three days after surgery
You may feel lingering discomfort, a slight amount of bleeding, and swelling for quite some time after the operation. It’s essential to remember that these symptoms won’t go away immediately. Additionally, due to the dental implant surgery, you may experience some bruising during your healing process, so don’t be alarmed! Healing takes time and patience; with consistency in self-care practices, you will see results soon enough.
To reduce discomfort and swelling, continue applying ice packs or cold compresses. Additionally, you must return to your regular dental routine of frequent brushing and flossing in order to safeguard your oral health while healing. Keeping the teeth and gums clean is essential, as bacteria accumulation can lead to an infection. If bleeding and discomfort persist after a certain period of time, make sure you book an appointment with your dentist immediately.
During your recovery, be sure to eat a soft diet which includes foods like yoghurt and apple puree. Hot or spicy food should be avoided in order to prevent any bleeding or irritation at the implant sites, as well as popcorn and seeded fruits that could get lodged into the site, potentially leading to infection. Additionally, abstain from smoking and drinking alcohol during this period. Right after the dental implant placement, it’s crucial to abstain from using straws and drinking carbonated beverages. Doing so could provoke a dry socket—a painful affliction where the blood clot dislodges—and can also irritate the surgical site.
Exercise is essential to your health; however, while healing from a dental procedure, you must be careful not to participate in any strenuous activities that may increase your blood pressure and lead to surgical site bleeding. Don’t worry, though; after the necessary healing period has passed, you can revert to the normal routine and physical activities you enjoyed before the procedure.
Three to six months post-dental implant surgery
As your body repairs itself, dental implants will become fused with the jawbone in a process known as osseointegration. Generally, this can take three to six months but, in some cases, longer. Your dentist must assess the healing procedure regularly before installing permanent new teeth.
Go back to your usual routine and eat foods that require minimal chewing, but make sure you follow the dietary advice of your dentist. Additionally, it’s important to avoid using straws while drinking since they can disturb areas around dental implants. Utilising a spoon instead is recommended as an easy way to protect your oral health.
After your dental implants heal
Once your implant site has healed completely, you must go to the dentist for abutment placement. During this process, your gums will be opened in order to expose and attach an abutment that connects the fabricated tooth to a titanium post.
After you receive your new smile, look after it like you would with any of your other teeth. Brushing and flossing twice a day is essential for maintaining optimal oral hygiene, as well as regularly visiting both the dentist and hygienist to ensure that all of your pearly whites stay healthy.
The success of your dental implant treatment relies on maintaining proper oral care. By taking the time to brush and floss, you can prevent bacteria from destroying your teeth through inflammation and potentially leading to peri-implantitis. The longer this goes unchecked, the more bone loss will occur around the implant until it falls out completely. A little bit of effort now can mean all the difference for a successful outcome.
How long does the pain last after a dental implant?
Even though it’s hard to anticipate the amount of pain associated with dental implant surgery, you should not let this prevent you from getting them. You might encounter some inflammation, soreness or ache both during and after the process; however, this is only temporary while your implants will remain intact for a lifetime! Right after receiving dental implants, there may be sensitivity in that area, but don’t fret – by week two, most patients experience limited tenderness as their gum tissue continues to heal.
Learn more about the dental implant healing stages with Digital Dental Surgery
To ensure your safety during the dental implant healing process, it’s important to have a thorough understanding of each stage. Additionally, if you communicate any side effects that arise with your dentist, this can significantly help in expediting recovery.
Here at DDSS, we strive to give you the most comprehensive information available about dental implants and recovery. Maintaining your teeth’s health is vitally important to us, and our team can explain every step of each procedure in detail. Let us help get your oral health back on track today – book your appointment now.
Note: Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.
Everything to Know About a Dental Implant Procedure