I'm considering getting dental implants, but I wanted to know what the typical recovery time was? What kind of downtime can I expect -- how long will I need to take off work and will there be a lot of pain? And how long before I can eat normally?
Dental Implants Recovery Time
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Recovery and pain after dental implants
The recovery and level of post operative pain depends on the type of implant surgery, number and region of the implants, need for grafting, surgeon's technique and personal healng physiology. But you can expect the following:
- Most people experience very minor pain for a few days, often relieved by ibuprofen or Tylenol #3. Some patients don't take any pain medications. This really depends on the nature of surgery and your pain threshold.
- Most can return to routine activities, even as easly as the next day.
- Swelling or puffiness is possible if implant surgery is more invasive or if bone grafting was performed.
- As for diet, It's a good ideal to stick to soft or liquid diet for 3-5 days and then advance to normal diet as you feel comfortable.
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Recovery time for dental implants
The recovery time for dental implants depends on two factors: the surgical approach used and whether or not adjunctive surgery is performed. The traditional approach towards implant placement involves the seperation of the gum tissue from the bone, placement of the implant in the bone, followed by the suturing of the gum tissue over the implant. The recovery time and post op sensitivity for this approach may be several days and require the use of post op prescription pain meds. A newer implant approach involves the use of cone beam x-ray technology to examine the patient's jawbone in three dimensions before surgery and the fabrication of a surgical guide stent that allows for precise implant placement without the need to seperate the gum tissue from the jawbone. Using this technique, the surgeon only drills and places the implant through a narrow hole. The result is minimal post op sensitivity that is usually controlled by taking an Advil and no recovery time. You can return to work the next day.
The second factor in answering this question is whether or not additional surgery like bone grafting is needed. For implants to successfully heal, there must be adequate bone in the implant site. If the site is lacking adding bone or bone grafting can be done. Depending on the type of grafting needed this may increase the need for post op meds and recovery time.
Dental implants are more comfortable than one would guess
Depending on the case, how many placed and any adjunctive surgeries, one could say that there may be virtually zero downtime. Many have remarked that having fillings placed was more uncomfortable than dental implants.
If a single implant is placed in an area with adequate bone (no grafting needed, etc), then you may be able to have it done on a lunch break and no time off. It would be different if a sinus lift was necessary or block grafting, so it truly IS case dependent.
Most implant cases take 3-6 months to complete, but normal eating resumes during the process. Chewing may be altered initially, but should return to normal within a matter of days.
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Recovery Time After Dental Impants
The downtime that you will experience after having dental implants placed depends on several factors. How many are you having placed? Where in the mouth are they? Do you have good bone or will considerable bone grafting need to be done? For those having one implant they can typically go to work the next day. If your having 8-10 implants you will probably need to take off for a few days as you will be sore and on some pain medication. You will be asked to eat soft foods only for a few days. If there are multiple teeth that need to be extracted at the time of implant placement, the healing can take 1-2 weeks, before the soreness goes away.
Dental Implant Recovery Time
Implants typically heal in about 4-6 months. The top arch of the mouth is usually a little slower than the bottom because the bone type is different. If bone grafting is required then the time is about 6 moths unless the bone graft had to be performed prior to the implant then you need to add the 4 months of bone healing then the 4-65 months of implant healing. Although this ounds as if there is a great deal of time involved here, you need to remember that this is a replacement for life! You do not want to rush this. Implant healing is needed for long term success!
Making Dental Implants Painless
Recovery time is individualized as with any type of surgical procedure. There is a difference in one patient that has an incision to place the implant vs. another patient that has an incisionless implant placement, which is my preference. There is also a difference in whether you have enough bone to accommodate the correct size implant vs. a patient that has limited bone and need a bone graft or soft tissue graft to enhance the site of where the implant will be placed. In patients that have enough bone, I like to place the implant with no incision, and then load the implant with a temporary the same day, and there is almost NO down time with this treatment.
Recovery after implant placement
If everything goes well at the implant placement procedure, you will be fine after couple of hours. The beauty of this treatment modality is that it is simple and almost painless. You won't be able to chew on that side for about a week, but later you will be fine.
Just a little discomfort - that's all after dental implants
A single implant usually has little discomfort, often times people go back to work the same day or next morning. Multiple implants may need a weekend to recover from. Pain levels are similar – more surgical sites will produce greater soreness needing more time to heal.
Dental implant recovery time may surprise you
Depending on the implant number, location, available bone and health of the patient, dental implant placement should be a comfortable and uneventful procedure. Single implant placement in areas of well healed bone can often require no downtime, with patients returning to routine activity immediately. Surgeries of a more extensive nature which require bone and gum grafting, and/or multiple implants have the potential to require more post-operative rest, and your dentist may recommend that you NOT maintain your usual routine for one to several days.
Once the implants are placed, they will require 14 to 16 weeks to heal or integrate with the bone. During this time normal comfort, function and speech are expected. Again, local factors including patient health and surgical site condition vary, and may adversely effect your result, but this is much more the exception than the rule. Be sure to ask your dentist lots of questions and determine his/her availability should the need arise. If your dentist is willing to spend the time with you before the treatment and address ALL of your concerns, you will likely have fewer post-op surprises and untoward issues.
For the most part, improvements in diagnostics, and the surgical proficiency of your dentist can work to the advantage of the patient with respect to decreased post-op discomfort and healing complications. Careful implant planning, placement and follow-up can make your dental implant visit more pleasant than you would expect, and likely more pleasant than the extraction of the tooth needing replacement. As always, ASK YOUR DENTIST for their post-op recommendations, and follow them dilligently for your best outcome. More care taken during the planning stages should translate to fewer post -op complications. Good Luck.
These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.