Dental Implant Recovery Timeline: How Long Does It Take to Heal?

Dental Implant

Dental implant technologies and techniques have been perfected over the past few decades. Today, patients can look forward to restoring their smiles with a straightforward procedure. However, even though the surgery itself has a favorable safety profile, it’s still an invasive procedure and patients should expect some downtime afterward. Your cosmetic dentist will help you prepare to have a healthy recovery.

Immediately after the surgery

You’ll need a responsible adult to take you home and stay with you for a while afterward. If you had sedation, you may feel a little groggy and slow. Just take it easy and get plenty of rest for the next 24 to 48 hours.

It’s common to have some bleeding at the surgical site. You’ll leave the cosmetic dentistry office with gauze on the area. You should bite down on the gauze firmly for the first hour. Try to avoid spitting and rinsing, as this may increase the bleeding. Don’t use a straw until the area has healed, as this will dislodge the blood clot. If bleeding continues after the first hour, you can moisten a green tea bag and place it over the surgical site.

Managing discomfort and swelling

Any dental surgery can be expected to cause side effects like swelling and discomfort. You can limit the swelling by applying an ice pack, wrapped in a clean towel, to the exterior of your jaw. Apply it for 20 minutes, take a break for 20 minutes, and then reapply it, and so on for the first 24 to 48 hours. The swelling should begin to subside within three to four days.

Follow the directions on your pain medication carefully. If your pain isn’t well controlled, don’t take an extra dose of prescription pain medicine. Instead, your pharmacist or dentist may direct you to take an OTC drug like Tylenol. Do not take any OTC drugs without confirming with the pharmacist or dentist that the new medication will not result in bleeding or a drug-drug interaction.

Returning to normal activities

Everyone heals at a different rate. You should expect to rest quietly at home for at least two days. Some people find that they can resume light activities after 48 hours. Avoid strenuous activities for at least three to four days. By this point, you should no longer need strong pain medication. You should avoid driving or operating machinery until you’re no longer taking prescription pain medication.

Avoid hot foods and drinks for at least 24 hours after surgery. Eat soft foods like cottage cheese, yogurt, ripe bananas, and ice cream. Follow this soft food diet for a few days, gradually reintroducing foods that require more chewing.

Planning dental implant surgery in Long Island, Suffolk County

Dr. Nick and Dr. Elliot at Long Island Implant and Cosmetic Dentistry are leading specialists in cosmetic dentistry, including smile restorations with dental implants. We’ll customize a treatment plan that fits into your schedule and budget. Schedule a one-on-one consultation at our office in Long Island to find out whether dental implants are a good choice for you. Get in touch today!

Additional resources on dental implants:

  1. Mayo Clinic, Dental Implant Surgery,
  2. American Dental Association, Dental Implants,

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