Most people focus on preparing for dental implant surgery, but it is just as important to know what to expect following the procedure. Knowledge is empowerment, so be empowered to aid yourself in a fast recovery following surgery.
Average Recovery Time
Recovery time varies depending on many factors. How many implants are installed, as well as your overall general health, can all impact recovery time. If you have other procedures completed at the same time, such as bone grafting surgery, it may take longer to recover from an implant compared to if you only have a single implant post placed.
Your dentist will inform you of the expected recovery time for your specific situation. In ideal conditions, you should expect to feel fine and return to normal habits within about two weeks following surgery, but it may take up to six weeks before you can go back to your pre-implant diet. A full recovery will generally take a few months, though you shouldn't feel pain that long. Your dentist will monitor your recovery to make sure that your healing is progressing as it should be,
Swelling and Discomfort
Dental implants don't come without some discomfort following the procedure. You likely won't feel much immediately following the procedure, but some pain and discomfort should be expected as the anesthesia wears off.
Generally, for those with only a single implant post and few, if any, extractions, pain should be minimal and discomfort should not extend past a bit of swelling and soreness. If you have multiple extractions or more than one implant post installed, swelling may be more severe. Discomfort is likely to be greater at the extraction sites, but the implant sites may also be swollen with some discomfort. There may also be minor bruising on the jaw following the procedure.
Steps you take after the surgery can help ease recovery. Avoid anything that requires rigorous effort, including exercise, for the first few days following the procedure. Clots will form over the implant and extraction sites, and heavy activity can dislodge these and impact proper healing. It's best to take it easy for a few days following the procedure.
Your dentist will likely prescribe antibiotics, which you must take as prescribed to ensure that there are no chances for infection. Your dentist will also prescribe specific hygiene procedures for brushing and flossing, so it is important to do as you are instructed to guard against infections. The swelling should reduce within a few days and the wound will heal sufficiently so that you can return to your normal activities.
Consult with a dentist to learn more about the expectations following dental implant surgery.