What is the recovery time for a permanent dental implant procedure?
There isn’t a standard timeline because there are many variables involved.
Each patient’s treatment plan is unique.
Here are some variables that affect the recovery time for a dental implant procedure.
- Is a tooth extraction needed?
- Will I need to have a bone graft (and/or sinus lift) before getting the implant?
- Will I receive anesthesia during the procedure?
If you need a non-viable tooth pulled, it may be possible to receive a permanent tooth implant on the same day. As long as you have enough strong, healthy jawbone in which to anchor the implant.
As soon as a tooth is extracted, the bone begins to recede. A dental implant is the only tooth replacement procedure that prevents or (greatly reduces) bone deterioration.
If teeth at the implant site have been gone for a while, the bone may have shrunk. Bone can also be weakened or destroyed with a severe infection.
An important decision is whether an implant patient needs bone augmentation.
In a bone grafting procedure, an oral surgeon or dentist packs bone material into the area where the implant will be placed.
If the implant will be placed in the upper arch, you may need a sinus lift treatment. When bone matter diminishes in parts of the upper jaw, it may cause the floor of the sinus cavity to fall into the space created.
A sinus lift procedure is done in conjunction with a bone graft. The goal is to raise the floor of the sinus cavity to make room for the additional bone material.
After the bone graft, you need to wait until the new bone has meshed with the existing bone. This will create a solid foundation for the implant.
Recovery after a bone graft procedure
Day of procedure: Though bone grafting requires oral surgery, don’t let the term “surgery” give the impression that it has a long recovery time. The site will be sore, but most patients can take care of it with Ibuprofen or aspirin.
It doesn’t take much longer than filling a cavity. Most patients can return to work the next day.
If swelling or pain increases a few days after the procedure, contact .
After a bone graft, how long until I can get my implant?
The fusing process can take several months. You don’t want to rush this because successful implantation requires a sturdy foundation.
Recovery after implant placement
Just as with the bone graft procedure, the implant placement procedure can be completed in less than two hours. If you elect to have IV sedation, however, you will need to wait until the effects of the sedation have worn off.
You will probably experience the following post-procedure:
- Pain at the implant site
- Minimal bleeding
- Swelling and/or bruising of the gums and cheeks
These effects should subside after a few days. Ice packs used on the outside of the face can reduce swelling. Call our office if these symptoms persist.
NOTE: It is not necessary for a permanent tooth implant recipient to be unconscious for the dental treatment. A local painkiller is usually sufficient. However, people with dental anxiety may elect stronger sedation.
Your dentist may mount a temporary healing abutment to the post during the initial surgery. A healing abutment is sometimes called a ‘healing cuff’ or ‘healing cap.’
Make sure you practice daily oral hygiene but be extra careful when cleaning around the surgical site.
It’s important to follow all post-procedure instructions. And be sure to make the recommended follow-up visits.
Smoking can make it harder to heal from any type of oral surgery.
After a permanent dental implant has had time to fuse with the bone, you will have an appointment to attach the abutment.
Attaching the abutment
This is a fairly quick and easy service. Your dentist will make an incision in your gum tissue at the implant site to expose the post. Then the abutment is attached. Your dentist may place the prosthesis (artifical tooth crown, dental bridge, or denture/partial denture) at the same time. Or your dentist may wait until your gums have healed.
Permanent dental implants can give you a beautiful new smile. To keep it beautiful and avoid further issues (like decay or an infection):
- Practice proper oral hygiene—keep your teeth and gums clean and healthy
- Eat a nutritious diet
- Don’t chew on hard foods or other items
- If you grind your teeth, pursue treatment.
- Have a twice-yearly dental exam and cleaning
To learn more about dental implants please call us at Boulder County Smiles in Lafayette CO. We’ve helped pataients in Boulder, Louisville, and Broomfield. Call for an appointment today!