When people ask us about implants, the most common question after asking about the price is the recovery period. How long does it last? How painful is it? What can or can't patients do after implants? Today, we're discussing the recovery process as well as dental implants recovery tips so you'll have a clear understanding of everything you need to know.
The good news is that the recovery process is a fairly rapid one. Patients will be fully healed in about one to two weeks. During that time, the bone will begin to graft itself to the screw of the implant and heal. After a couple of weeks, the process is complete, and the patient has no limitations whatsoever. For the first two weeks, there are a few things to know, however.
Dental implant surgery is fairly straightforward and relatively non-invasive as surgeries go. The process requires a small punch in the tissue and drilling a hole for the screw-like post to be placed. While it is an invasive procedure, with our modern technology and digital approach it doesn't require a large incision or any drastic approaches, which reduces healing and recovery time.
So, "do dental implants hurt?" Dental implants are actually not as painful as people often assume. In fact, they're virtually painless. You see our bones have very few nerves, so drilling usually doesn't cause any pain unless an extremely aggressive approach has had to be taken. In addition, the tissue punch is also quite small so it will heal rapidly. In rare cases when the procedure requires a more aggressive approach, pain medication will be prescribed should you feel any discomfort whatsoever.
Patients may experience some soreness or tenderness on the first day of the procedure. However, as the days go on, the soreness generally rapidly lessens, as does swelling and tenderness. Patients can sometimes experience mild nausea or dizziness related to the anesthesia, but it's temporary.
Recovery can be as short as a couple of days to up to two weeks, depending on the number of steps involved in the dental implant surgery. The amount of work done will directly determine the recovery period. However, two weeks is generally the maximum length of recovery time for almost all dental implants.
Some people can return to work the same day they have their implants. Others may need to take a day or two to recover before resuming most of their regular activities. Regular activity means going to work and doing daily tasks. We don't recommend engaging in any kind of strenuous activity for a week. This gives your implants plenty of time to heal before you raise your blood pressure with an intense cardio session at the gym.
Now you know the general outline of the dental implants recovery process. Let's turn to tips to make your recovery as fast and comfortable as possible.
While implants are a relatively painless procedure, there is some discomfort associated with it. Everyone's pain threshold is different, so monitor your discomfort. If you feel it isn't improving or it's getting worse, contact your dentist or oral surgeon so the cause of it can be found and corrected as soon as possible.
Avoid all types of tobacco at all costs for both your recovery period and for the rest of your life if you can. Tobacco impedes the healing process and can even cause infection in the newly-healing area. What's more, studies show that the use of tobacco products plays a large role in the success or failure of dental implants. In fact, it's estimated that of all dental implant failures, a full 16% of them are directly caused by the use of tobacco products.
You can get back to eating regularly far sooner than most people realize. About an hour after surgery, you'll be able to eat soft foods like eggs, mashed potatoes, or yogurt. Don't eat hot foods or drink from a straw for the first day, however. After the first day, your comfort level becomes your guide. If it doesn't hurt you can eat it - to a point. We don't recommend diving into your favorite crunchy or hard food immediately, even if you feel no pain. Remember, you're healing. Slowly work your way back into firmer foods just to be safe.
Oral hygiene is crucial for both natural teeth and implants. You can't brush or floss for the first 48 hours after your implants, but you should rinse your mouth with lukewarm saltwater several times a day to help kill bacteria, wash away debris, and generally keep your oral cavity as disinfected as possible.
After your implants have fully healed, it's back to the old standards of quality oral hygiene. Brush and floss twice a day. Be sure to use an alcohol free mouthwash as well to help promote gum health. While your new teeth may not ever get cavities good oral care still helps keep your gums healthy and your new teeth right where they need to be for the rest of your life.
Now that you know more about the recovery process and how to make it go even more smoothly, you'll be able to breeze through your dental implants recovery period. If you've been considering getting dental implants in Staten Island or researching for the "best dental implants dentist on Staten Island", schedule a FREE consultation and exam complete with x-rays with Dr. Cipriano to see if you're a candidate. You have absolutely nothing to lose, and only a happy and healthy smile to gain!