A dental implant is a prosthetic device used to replace the root structure of a tooth. Once you’ve got an implant, a dental crown can be placed to restore the full function and appearance of your tooth.
If you’re considering getting life-changing dental implants, you’ll probably have lots of questions about the procedure. One of the most commonly asked questions is ‘what is the dental implant recovery time?’
In this guide, we’ll talk you through the process involved in placing an implant, what you can expect during recovery, and how long it will take for you to heal following the procedure.
Why Get Dental Implants?
If you’re on the fence about whether dental implants are right for you, it may help if you understood the benefits of the procedure.
- Dental implants restore full function to your teeth, allowing you to enjoy all of your favourite meals without worrying about them working loose.
- Dental implants are a permanent solution to missing teeth and can last up to an entire lifetime.
- Dental implants can be used when replacing an individual tooth or an entire arch.
- Dental implants can prevent bone loss in your jaw. This is because where there is no tooth root present, ossification cannot occur.
- Dental implants are used to hold realistic-looking crowns in place that match the appearance of your natural teeth.
What is Involved in the Dental Implant Procedure?
If you’re having dental implants, we’ll start with an initial consultation. Before we can carry out the procedure, we’ll talk to you about what to expect, answer any questions you may have, and take impressions and digital images of your teeth and jaw.
If you need any damaged or unhealthy teeth removed, we’ll extract these next.
The density of your jaw bone is an important factor in determining whether you’re a suitable candidate for dental implants. This is because we need to be sure that you have adequate bone and that it will be strong enough to hold the implant in place.
In some circumstances, a bone graft may be necessary to ensure that the implant will be able to adhere to your jaw. This is especially important if you’ve already got missing teeth, as the jaw may have already started to break down and resorb.
If you require a bone graft, this can take several months to heal. The speed of recovery will depend on the area being grafted and the healing capacity of your body.
Once we’re satisfied that your jaw will be able to take the implant, we’ll carry out the procedure. This will be done under anaesthesia, meaning the actual placement of the implant won’t hurt.
Once the implant is in place, osseointegration will need to take place.
What Does Osseointegration Mean?
Osseointegration may not be a word you hear every day. It comes from the Latin ‘Osseo’ meaning ‘bone’ and ‘integrate’ meaning ‘to make whole.’ It refers to a specific part of the dental implant healing process where the titanium implant fuses to your jaw bone.
The process of osseointegration is important as this will ensure your replacement tooth is anchored securely, providing you with the stability and rigidity needed to chew with confidence.
Once your dental implant is fused in place, it acts as a root for your tooth – something that other prosthetic dental appliances don’t do. In addition to this, once in place, the lightweight and biocompatible titanium implant will work to prevent bone loss in your jaw.
The process of osseointegration can take anywhere from six weeks to six months, with the exact length of time dependent on the location and the condition of the jaw. We’ll keep an eye on how the implant is doing and once it has fused, we’ll add an abutment and the crown.
What is the Dental Implant Recovery Time?
There is no exact dental implant recovery time, as everyone heals at a different rate. Your recovery time will depend on the following factors:
- How many teeth you’re having extracted and implanted – if you need just one tooth replaced, you will have a single implant. If you’re having an entire row you may need four to six implants to hold these in place.
- Whether you need a bone graft prior to the implant procedure
- Where the implant will be situated
In addition, lifestyle choices may also impact the healing time. If you’re a smoker, this will have a negative impact on the healing process and could harm or delay this, particularly if you need a bone graft.
For a simple implant placement where no bone grafting is required, any post-procedure discomfort or swelling should subside after a few days, and within a week to ten days, you should be able to resume a normal diet.
How Can You Help the Dental Implant Recovery Process?
First and foremost, to ensure a smooth recovery process, you should follow any advice that we give you. Initially, your mouth will be sensitive and we’ll talk you through how you can clean your teeth during this time.
You may have swelling around your jaw, particularly in the first day or two after the procedure. Applying ice for 20 minutes at a time can help manage these symptoms. In addition to this, you can also take over-the-counter pain medication to help ease any discomfort you’re experiencing.
Sticking to a diet of soft foods will be essential during the initial healing process. Avoid anything chewy, crunchy, or hard as this will cause you to put undue pressure on your new implant. Not smoking and drinking alcohol is also vital during the initial recovery stages.
Book Your Dental Implant Consultation Now
Knowing what to expect in terms of your own dental implant recovery time is important, and it’s understandable that you’d want to know this prior to committing to the procedure.
To learn more about how your personal circumstances will affect your healing time and find out whether dental implants are right for you, get in touch today to arrange your dental implant consultation.