Dental implants are undoubtedly the most effective and preferred way to replace a missing tooth or teeth. However, there are two leading reasons why patients shy away: cost and recovery. Unlike a traditional bridge or denture, a dental implant requires an oral surgery as the titanium post is inserted into the jaw bone. Before the implant can be attached to a prosthetic tooth, the implant must undergo an important healing process. For patients, this means a period of time dedicated to dental implant recovery. What you may not know, however, is that recovery after dental implant surgery can look different for each patient, and it isn’t always as bad as you think. Understanding what you can expect after your oral surgery may help you feel more confident about going forward with this gold standard solution in restorative dentistry.
Factors That Influence Recovery Time
When it comes to recovery, most patients want to know what kind of time frame they are facing. How many days will they need to be off work? And when can they return to normal eating and activity? These are questions that can only be answered on an individual basis because there are several factors that influence your recovery experience, including the following:
- Number of dental implants placed
- Type of implant used (traditional, mini or “All-on-4”)
- Need for bone grafting (or other additional procedure)
- How well recovery is managed by patient
Fortunately, the science and technology involved in modern dental implants has improved drastically over recent years, which means patients benefit from a faster and more comfortable recovery than ever before. Nonetheless, the patient requiring the least amount of recovery time would be the one who is healthy, non-smoking and received a single standard dental implant without the need for bone grafting. With such a simple and straightforward procedure, only minimal discomfort and pain can be expected. Mild bruising and soreness is only temporary and well-managed with over-the-counter pain relievers.
The Importance of Minding Your Habits
Regardless of how complex your dental implant surgery is, however, there are certain post-operative instructions that must be adhered to. Being mindful of your habits can make a major difference in how fast and comfortably your recovery after dental implant surgery. Here are some basic recommendations to follow for the first week or more:
- Keep a clean mouth at all times
- Do not smoke under any circumstances
- Avoid using a straw
- Eat soft-foods until your dentist tells you otherwise
- Get plenty of sleep and water to foster optimal healing
- Take prescribed antibiotics
Still anxious about the recovery process after getting dental implants? We would love to put your mind at ease. A brief consultation with Dr. Wayne Suway can include a more accurate depiction of what you can personally expect during your recovery experience. As always, we utilize techniques and technology to minimize your time and discomfort following implant surgery and to ensure you heal without complications or setbacks. Call our Marietta office today to learn more.