How Long Does It Take for Dental Implants to Heal?
Coastal dental is a top-rated dental office in Point Pleasant, and we are experts in all things teeth — including implants. We strive to perform dental implant procedures in a way that minimizes discomfort and healing time.
Recovering from a procedure can get in the way of many things. If you’re planning on getting dental implants, knowing how long it takes to heal is important, especially if you have an upcoming event.
Here’s how long it takes dental implants to heal and how you can speed up your recovery process.
How Long Does It Take for Dental Implants to Heal?
It takes about two weeks for your gums to heal from the incision made to install the dental implant. Then, it will take another six to eight months for your bone to fuse to the implant.
A dental implant works by getting inserted into the jaw bone and acting as the root for the crown that will get attached. The bone needs to bond to it over time so it remains in the right spot.
Factors That Will Cause Slower Healing
While our mouths heal quickly, several factors can stunt their ability to repair themselves.
Nicotine causes blood vessels to contract, which limits blood flow and your body’s immune response.
This slows how long it takes to heal and puts you at a higher risk for infection. Most products that contain nicotine also tend to lead to dry mouth. This, too, will lead to prolonged healing because it destroys an environment that is favorable for healing.
You should be extra careful around your incision and take proper care of it to promote healing. This means eating soft foods like applesauce, mashed potatoes, and creamy soups for a few days after surgery.
You should thoroughly clean your dental implant to avoid infection. This involves regular salt water rinses.
The longer it takes to heal after receiving your dental implant, the longer you are at risk for an infection. Reopening your incision prolongs the healing process and essentially resets it.
Of course, you might not intentionally reopen your incision. It’s common to accidentally open it back up by eating food that’s difficult to chew or not going easy enough when brushing your teeth.
It’s no secret that our bodies tend to work less efficiently as we age. Because of this, wounds don’t heal as well either, and dental implant surgery is no different.
Many medications can cause your mouth to become dry or even inhibit healing at a cellular level.
Medications that treat illnesses such as heart disease, anxiety, depression, and Parkinson’s disease tend to dry out the user’s mouth. As previously mentioned, this can lead to gum disease.
However some medicines, such as ones to treat cancer, limit the body’s ability to heal itself.
Dental implants are safe, but there is always a chance of infection. It can dramatically extend the healing time of dental implants. Not only will it prevent proper healing, but it may also warrant additional surgery.
How to Speed Up Dental Implant Recovery
- Rinse with salt water after every meal to keep the incision clean
- Only eat liquid-based foods for the first few days after surgery
- Sleep with your head slightly elevated
- Avoid elevating blood pressure for two to three days after surgery
- Don’t smoke or use tobacco products
How Long Does a Dental Implant Take To Install?
The dental implant procedure only takes one to two hours to install a dental implant.
However, they usually can’t be installed within eight to ten weeks of losing a tooth or having it extracted. This is because your mouth needs time to heal before the implant procedure can start.
Oral Care After Dental Implant Installation
While your oral care routine will have to change a bit after receiving an implant, you can’t stop caring for your remaining teeth and gums.
For the first few days, floss and brush all your teeth as normal except the area around your dental implant. Brushing or flossing the area could extend how long it takes for the implant to heal. For these two to three days, do not rinse your mouth with anything.
After your dental implant has had a chance to heal for a few days, you can lightly brush the area with toothpaste and a washcloth or cotton swab.
You should rinse with a saltwater solution after every meal to fight infection.
After ten to fourteen days, you should be able to return to your normal routine.
Gum disease and cavities don’t care that you just underwent oral surgery, so it’s important that you don’t skip out on oral hygiene just because you got a dental implant.
What Can I Eat After Getting a Dental Implant Installed?
Despite having to limit your diet for some time while you heal from your dental implant, you should not skip meals. Even if you don’t feel like eating, you should continue supplying your body with nutrients to promote healing.
To make sure you get all your nutrients, we recommend taking a multivitamin until you can return to your everyday diet.
First Three Days After Dental Implant Surgery
- Puréed Soups
- Protein Shakes
- Mashed potatoes
Four to Ten Days After Dental Implant Surgery
- Cooked Vegetables
- Soft, seedless fruits
Ten to Fourteen Days After Dental Implant Surgery
After ten to fourteen days, you can return to your normal diet. If you feel pain while you eat, back off for a few more days and try again. If discomfort persists after these extra days, consult your dentist.
Do Dental Implants Hurt?
Thanks to local anesthetics, the installation process should be completely pain-free. You will have some soreness and discomfort afterwards that can last up to two weeks.
To combat discomfort, we recommend over-the-counter acetaminophen products like Tylenol. It works well to dull soreness but doesn’t thin your blood, so it decreases the chance of random bleeding.
Get Dental Implants in Point Pleasant at Coastal Dental
Are you considering dental implants for tooth replacement? Call us or book an appointment online to get started with your evaluation. A complete smile and boost in confidence are right around the corner.
About the Author
Dr. Joseph Zicchino provides a wide array of cosmetic dentistry services, including Invisalign® Clear Aligners, at his practice in Point Pleasant, NJ. He earned his dental degree from NYU Dental School and established Coastal Dental Group in 2004. For more information call (732) 714-1030 or to schedule an appointment!