How Long Before Dental Implants Feel Normal? (Comprehensive Guide)

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Dr. Matthew Hannan | My Dental Advocate
How Long Before Dental Implants Feel Normal? | My Dental Advocate

If you are considering dental implants, you may wonder how long it will take them to feel normal.

After all, getting dental implants is a big decision, and you want to know what to expect during recovery.

The answer to this question depends on a few factors, including the type of implant you receive and your body’s natural healing process. Let’s take a closer look from a dentist’s perspective.

 Recommended Reading: Dental Implants | The Ultimate Guide

Need Dental Advice? Ask Dr. Hannan!

How Long Before Dental Implants Feel Normal?

Generally speaking, it takes between 6 and 8 months for dental implants to heal fully and feel normal again. During this time, your implants will fuse with your jawbone in a process called osseointegration.

This is what gives dental implants their strength and stability, but it also means that the healing process can take some time. However, the recovery period may vary depending on the nature of dental implant surgery.

Single-Tooth Implant Radiograph X-ray | My Dental Advocate
Source Dental Implant Prosthetics Misch

The Healing Process

After your surgery, you may experience some bruising, swelling, minor bleeding, and pain. This is normal and should subside within a few days. Your dentist will provide detailed aftercare instructions to help you manage discomfort and promote healing.

Following these instructions closely ensures a successful recovery and optimal results.

The First Few Days

After your dental implant surgery, you will experience some discomfort and swelling.

You may also have some bleeding from the surgical site. It is important to follow your dentist’s instructions for managing these symptoms.

Symptom Management

  • Applying an ice pack to your face to reduce swelling
  • Taking over-the-counter pain medication as directed
  • Avoiding hot or spicy foods, as well as alcohol and tobacco
  • Gently rinsing your mouth with salt water to promote healing

Getting plenty of rest and avoiding strenuous activity for the first few days after your surgery is also important. Your dentist will provide you with specific instructions on how to care for your implant site and when to return for a follow-up appointment.

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The First Few Weeks

You may experience minor discomfort and sensitivity as your implant site begins healing.

In addition, you may also notice some bruising or discoloration around the surgical site. During this time, it is important to continue following your dentist’s instructions for caring for your implant site.

Recommendations

  • Brushing and flossing gently around the implant site (I recommend using an extra soft toothbrush)
  • Avoiding hard or crunchy foods that could damage the implant site
  • Scheduling regular check-ups with your dentist to monitor your healing progress

Your dentist may also recommend a soft food diet during the first few weeks after your surgery to help promote healing.

 Recommended Reading: What to Eat After Wisdom Teeth Removal? (BEST & WORST Foods)

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The First Few Months

As your implant site continues to heal, you may notice that your implant feels more stable and comfortable. However, it is important to continue following your dentist’s instructions for caring for your implant site.

Recommendations

  • Continuing to brush and floss gently around the implant site
  • Scheduling regular check-ups with your dentist to monitor your healing progress
  • Avoiding hard or crunchy foods that could damage the implant site
  • Avoiding tobacco use, which can slow down the healing process

It is important to note that the healing process can vary from person to person, and some patients may require more time to fully heal. Your dentist will work with you to develop a personalized treatment plan based on your individual needs and goals.

Factors that Affect Healing Time

After getting dental implants, you may wonder when you can expect them to feel normal.

The answer to this question depends on several factors, including age, overall health, oral health, and lifestyle habits.

Age

Your age can affect how long it takes for your dental implants to feel normal. Younger patients tend to heal faster than older patients. This is because older patients may have underlying health conditions that can slow down the healing process.

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Overall Health

Your overall health plays a significant role in how long it takes for your dental implants to feel normal.

If you have a weakened immune system or a chronic health condition, such as diabetes or heart disease, it may take longer for your implants to heal.

Smoking or using tobacco products can also slow the healing process and increase the risk of complications.

Oral Health

Your oral health also affects how long your dental implants take to feel normal. If you have gum disease or other oral health problems, this can delay the healing process and increase the risk of implant failure.

It’s important to have good oral hygiene habits and visit your dentist regularly to ensure your mouth is healthy before dental implants.

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Lifestyle Habits

Your lifestyle habits can also affect how long your dental implants take to feel normal. If you have a poor diet or don’t get enough rest, this can slow the healing process.

Additionally, if you engage in high-impact activities or sports, this can put stress on your implants and delay the healing process.

Overall, the healing time for dental implants can vary depending on several factors.

It’s important to follow your dentist’s instructions and care for your oral health to ensure your implants heal properly and feel normal as soon as possible.

Recommended Reading: The Dairy Dilemma: Can Consuming Dairy Products Impact Dental Implant Success?

Tips for a Faster Recovery

After getting dental implants, it is important to take care of yourself to ensure a smooth and speedy recovery.

Below are some tips to help you recover faster.

Proper Oral Hygiene

Oral hygiene is crucial for the success of your dental implant procedure. Brush your teeth twice a day with a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste.

Floss at least once daily to remove food particles and plaque between your teeth and implants. Use an antimicrobial mouthwash to kill bacteria and freshen your breath.

After the procedure, avoid brushing the implant site for the first 24 hours to prevent bleeding. After that, use a soft-bristled toothbrush to clean the area gently. Avoid using an electric toothbrush or water flosser on the implant site, as they can damage the implant and cause bleeding.

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Healthy Lifestyle Habits

Eating a healthy diet and avoiding smoking can help speed your recovery.

Eat soft foods for the first few days after the procedure, and avoid hard, crunchy, or sticky foods that can damage the implant site.

Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated and avoid alcohol and sugary drinks that can slow down the healing process.

Smoking can delay healing and increase the risk of implant failure. If you smoke, try to quit before the procedure or at least cut back as much as possible.

Avoid smoking for at least two weeks after the procedure to allow the implant to heal properly.

 Recommended Reading: 101 Foods to Eat After Dental Surgery, Implants or Wisdom Teeth Removal

Follow Post-Op Instructions

Your dentist will give you specific instructions to follow after the procedure to ensure a successful recovery. Follow these instructions carefully, and don’t hesitate to contact your dentist with any questions or concerns.

Post-Op Instructions

  • Avoid rinsing your mouth or spitting for the first 24 hours
  • Use ice packs to reduce swelling and pain (I recommend this ice pack)
  • Avoid strenuous activity for the first few days
  • Take pain medication as prescribed
  • Avoid using a straw
  • Attend all follow-up appointments with your dentist

Dentist-Recommended Products

I recommend using these products to help you heal and recover faster after dental implant surgery.

Hot/Cold Pack
Hot/Cold Pack (Wisdom Teeth, Implants, Surgery)
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The All Sett Health hands-free Hot and Cold compress is a perfect fit for everyone.

Made of gentle and lightweight wrap microfiber material, it comes with four reusable hot/cold gel packs that can be used whenever pain strikes. The built-in pockets allow you to snuggle two gel packs with two extra soft gel packs and hold them next to your face for additional security, relieving facial pain caused by toothaches or cosmetic surgery.

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05/29/2024 07:10 pm GMT

Best Gum Care
Oral-B Gum Care Compact Toothbrush
$10.00

The Oral B Gum Care Extra-Soft Compact Head Toothbrush improves your gum health with ultra-soft bristles, which gently clean along the gumline and multilevel bristles clean deep between teeth. It has a compact head for superior reach to your back teeth.

The ultra-soft bristles are five times more gentle than a regular soft toothbrush and are perfect for those with sensitive teeth and gums. 

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05/27/2024 03:40 pm GMT

Non-Irritating
CloSYS Non-Irritating Sensitive Mouthwash
$11.48 ($0.36 / Fl Oz)

In 1980, Dr. Perry Ratcliff founded Closys to replace ineffective and irritating oral rinses.

He formulated an extremely effective yet gentle oral rinse that a small group of dentists praised. Closys Oral Care was born and continues to create high-quality, comfortable oral rinses.

Their products are made in the USA and are free from alcohol, sulfates, and triclosan.

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05/26/2024 06:40 pm GMT

Sensitive Gums
CloSYS Fluoride Toothpaste (Gentle Mint)
$13.49 $11.49

CloSYS Sensitive Toothpaste in Gentle Mint flavor promotes mouth health by fighting plaque buildup, restoring enamel, preventing cavities, and eliminating bad breath bacteria.

Formulated with fluoride, it strengthens, and restores weakened enamel for better protection against cavities and tooth sensitivity. CloSYS toothpaste products are SLS-free, triclosan-free, sulfate-free, and gluten-free, making them gentle and safe to use.

The pH-balanced formula is naturally activated to neutralize plaque bacteria and maintain a non-acidic environment in the mouth, providing long-lasting freshness and a healthy white smile without damaging or removing enamel.

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05/29/2024 07:00 pm GMT

When to Seek Help

It is normal to experience some discomfort and swelling after a dental implant surgery. However, if the pain persists or worsens after a few days, you should seek help from your dentist.

Other Signs

  • Bleeding that does not stop after applying pressure for 20-30 minutes
  • Pain that does not improve with medication
  • Swelling that gets worse instead of better
  • Fever or chills
  • Difficulty breathing or swallowing

If you experience any of these symptoms, contact your dentist immediately. They will be able to evaluate your condition and determine if further treatment is necessary.

It is also important to keep up with regular dental check-ups after getting dental implants. Your dentist will monitor your progress and make sure everything is healing properly. They may also recommend changes to your oral hygiene routine to help prevent complications.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

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Some discomfort and pain are common after dental implant surgery, but it should gradually subside over a few days. If the pain persists or worsens, contact your dentist.

While dental implants are designed to be a permanent solution, they can be removed if necessary. However, it is important to address any concerns with your dentist before opting for removal.

You may need to avoid hard, chewy, or sticky foods for a few days after dental implant surgery. Additionally, your dentist may advise you to avoid smoking, using a straw, or other activities that could disrupt the healing process.

My Experience and Expertise

As a dentist, I have seen many patients receive dental implants.

I understand that it can be a daunting experience, but I assure you it is a safe and effective way to replace missing teeth.

It is important to understand that the recovery process varies from person to person. Some patients may experience discomfort for a few days, while others may take a few weeks to feel completely normal.

However, most patients can resume their normal activities within a few days after the procedure.

During recovery, it is important to follow your dentist’s instructions carefully. This includes taking prescribed medications, avoiding hard or chewy foods, and keeping the surgical site clean. You may also need to attend follow-up appointments to ensure that the implant is healing properly.

In my experience, I have found that patients who take good care of their dental implants tend to have a smoother recovery period. This includes maintaining good oral hygiene habits, such as brushing and flossing regularly and attending regular dental check-ups.

Overall, dental implant surgery is a safe and effective way to replace missing teeth.

While the recovery period may vary from person to person, following your dentist’s instructions and taking good care of your implant can help ensure a smooth and successful recovery.

Need a second opinion? We can help! Learn more. Knowledge is power when cultivating healthy dental habits. The more informed you are, the better positioned you’ll be to prevent avoidable and potentially costly dental procedures for you and your family. Watch for future blog posts, where we’ll continue sharing important information, product reviews and practical advice!

About the Author

Dr. Matthew Hannan, also known as “Dr. Advocate,” is a board-certified dentist on a mission to provide accurate dental patient education. He attended Baylor University before completing dental school at UT Health San Antonio School of Dentistry. He now lives in Arizona with his beautiful wife and 4 kids. Dr. Hannan believes everyone should access easy-to-read dental resources with relevant, up-to-date dental research and insight to improve their oral health.

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