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Dental implants are an excellent replacement for missing teeth

Healing After Dental Implants: What to Expect

Healing After Dental Implants: What to Expect

Dental implants are an excellent replacement for missing teeth, as they can prevent bone loss by restoring the tooth’s roots. When you chew, the jawbone becomes stimulated, which regenerates cells and preserves the existing jawbone.

However, getting dental implants requires undergoing two minor oral surgeries. Many patients have questions and concerns about the healing process, such as how long it takes, what to expect, and how they can accelerate healing. Read on to learn everything you need to know about implant recovery.

How Long Will It Take to Heal?

The length of your recovery will depend on a few variables, such as the amount and location of dental implants, your lifestyle and oral hygiene, and the complexity of your case. Those who smoke, receive multiple implants, required bone grafts, or fail to follow aftercare instructions can expect their recovery to take longer than average.

There are two oral surgeries involved in placing implants - the initial incision into the gums is to place the implant into the jawbone. It takes from a few days to two weeks to heal from this procedure.

However, it will take 3-6 months for osseointegration to be complete, which is the fusion of the jawbone with the implant. Once this fusion has taken place, we will reopen the gums to attach the abutment and you will take another few days to 2 weeks to heal from this procedure.

What to Expect In the Recovery Process

Bleeding - Minor bleeding for the first 48-72 hours is completely normal following oral surgery. This is why your dentist in Atlanta will place gauze at the site of the implant that you will bite down on to stop the bleeding. It’s very important to form blood clots at the extraction site to promote healing, as this protects the wound and prevents dry socket.

You will need to continually change your gauze with fresh dampened gauze or a wet caffeinated tea bag (the tannic acid stops bleeding). If bleeding is excessive or continues for more than 72 hours, you should contact us right away.

Swelling - Swelling will peak 2-3 days after implant surgery, but you should apply cold compresses in the first 24 hours to mitigate swelling. After 24 hours, ice won’t have any effect but you can switch to moist heat. Elevating your head will also reduce swelling.

Pain - Some minor discomfort or tenderness may be apparent once the anesthetic has worn off. This can be relieved with the use of prescribed medication or over-the-counter anti-inflammatory pain medication. If you have severe, persistent pain, contact us immediately.

Aftercare Tips

In the first 24 hours, we advise you to take it easy. Avoid strenuous activities or exercise and try to rest for the rest of the day. You should also avoid smoking, drinking alcohol, consuming hot liquids, rinsing your mouth, spitting, sucking through a straw, and eating hard or chewy foods.

Maintaining good oral hygiene will help you heal faster and prevent infection. After the first 24 hours, you can swish around a lukewarm saline solution up to 3 times a day to eliminate bacteria. We recommend doing this after eating.

Brush and floss your teeth like normal after the first day but be careful to avoid the site of the implant. Stick to soft foods for the first week and try to chew on the other side of your mouth. Stay hydrated and avoid acidic as well as hot foods and drinks.

Implant Dentistry at Goldstein Garber & Salama

If you’re interested in dental implants and want to know if you’d be a good candidate, contact us at Goldstein Garber & Salama for your free dental implant consultation today. It’s important to have adequate jawbone density and structure to support dental implants. If you have suffered from bone loss or gum disease, you may need to undergo bone grafting before you can be eligible for dental implants.

Healing After Dental Implants