The Dental Implant Healing Timeline – Understanding Post-Surgery Recovery

The Dental Implant Healing Timeline

If you’re thinking about getting dental implants, the Atlanta oral surgeons at Greater Atlanta Oral Facial Surgery are here to help. Dr. Abtin Shahriari and our staff of oral surgeons specialize in dental implants, and can permanently restore your smile. 

But you may be wondering what to expect after your surgery. What happens, how long does it take to recover, and what steps will you have to take to keep your mouth healthy? Find out now in this guide to the dental implant healing timeline.

Up To 24 Hours After Surgery – Initial Care And Healing

Right after your surgery, your oral surgeon will place a gauze pack over your surgical site to absorb blood flow, which should slow down soon after your appointment. You may need to switch this gauze pack out once or twice as it absorbs blood, though.

For pain, you can fill your prescription for pain medication (if applicable). If you were not prescribed any painkillers, you can take over-the-counter painkillers and ice the cheek near your surgical site.

You will need to go home, rest, and relax. Taking the day off from work or school is a good idea, if practical. You can eat after your surgery, but eat only soft foods like applesauce and pudding, as directed by your doctor. 

24-72 Hours After Surgery – Taking Care Of Your Implant Site

After 24 hours, you can begin brushing again. Brush your other teeth normally, but avoid the implant site. You can use a prescription rinse or salt water rinse to rinse the implant area. Be gentle, and continue to eat soft foods.

You also should avoid heavy exercise and exertion for 2-3 days after your surgery, since this could cause pain, bleeding, and discomfort, and slow down the healing process. You also should not smoke or use a straw, since this could dislodge the blood clots around your dental implant.

3-7 Days After Surgery – Reintroducing Foods And Activity

During this time, you should feel significantly better and have less pain, swelling, and discomfort. After about three days, you can reintroduce mild exercise, but you should still take things somewhat easy for about a week. You can also begin brushing near the extraction site, but be very gentle and use a soft bristled toothbrush.

You can also usually start to eat firmer foods within 3-7 days of your implant surgery, like scrambled eggs, soft potatoes, tender meats like chicken, and other foods. You should still try to chew on the other side of your mouth when possible, though.

1-2 Weeks After Surgery – Getting Back To Your Normal Routine

After about a week, your mouth should feel significantly better, and it should feel almost completely healed within about two weeks as long as you follow the instructions provided by your oral surgeon at Greater Atlanta Oral Facial Surgery. It will take up to six months for your implant to permanently bond with your jaw bone, but the initial healing process usually only takes about two weeks.

You may still want to avoid extremely crunchy and hard foods for a bit longer, but you can usually go back to your normal diet during this time. You may also have an appointment with your dentist at our office to check on your healing and recovery, and to remove sutures (if applicable). Make sure to come into Greater Atlanta Oral Facial Surgery as scheduled for any follow-ups.

Come To Greater Atlanta Oral Facial Surgery For Expert Care In Atlanta

Dental implants are the best way to permanently restore one or more missing teeth. If you’ve experienced tooth loss in Atlanta and you’re ready to get your smile back, Dr. Shahriari and the team at Greater Atlanta Oral Facial Surgery are here to help. Contact us online or give us a call at (404) 433-8433 to schedule an appointment in Atlanta, see if dental implants are right for you, and take the first steps toward replacing your missing teeth permanently.