How Long is the Healing Period After Getting Dental Implants Placed?
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How Long Do Dental Implants Take to Heal

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Getting dental implants at Vita Dental Spring is a permanent way of replacing missing teeth. In as much as the treatment is invasive, and involves surgical and prosthetic components, it requires ample time to heal.

One of the most common questions we hear from patients who have had their dental implants installed at our facility is ‘What is the recovery period for dental implants?’ Read on to know more.

The recovery time is a complex process that varies significantly from individual to individual. Often it is influenced by the number of teeth that need replacement. Multiple implants mean a more extended recovery period. Other factors that can affect your healing time include the specific teeth in question (whether it’s the front or rear teeth) and the overall patients’  health. Under such circumstances, more than one healing step may be required.

Here are some quick facts on dental implant recovery:

  • Most patients can go to work on the same day/next
  • Taking over the counter (OTC) medications is usually sufficient for the pain
  • On an average, the healing period for dental implants is 4-6 months for full healing before placing the artificial tooth/teeth

Below is a list of the steps that take place during the recovery period and once completed, you will have new healthy teeth.

Medications

Placing a dental implant may be considered a small surgical procedure that has a short recovery period.  Whether you have the surgery in one or multiple stages, you are bound to experience some associated discomforts such as swelling and bruising of the gums, pain at the implant site, and minor bleeding. The dentist may prescribe some antibiotics or a pain reliever like Ibuprofen (Motrin).

Osseointegration

During the surgical procedure, the dental implant is installed in the bone to replace the root of your tooth.  Due to this, it can take a number of months for osseointegration to take place.

Osseointegration is the process where the bone fuses with the implant to become part of the bone and stable enough to hold the new tooth on it. This procedure cannot be sped up: it can take up to four months for it to fully bond.

Once osseointegration is complete, your Vita Dental Spring dentist can now attach the new tooth, allowing you to start enjoying your usual foods again without experiencing any problems.

Special Cases

If a patient lacks healthy bone that can adequately accommodate the implant, then he/she will have to undergo bone grafting. A bone graft is necessary to keep the bone open and give room for easy placement of the implant later.  Also, a sinus lift (sinus augmentation) is essential to add bone to your upper jaw, on the molars, and premolars.

In both cases, patients have to wait for a period of between four to six months before the dentist can proceed to the next step.

If a patient needs to extract his/her tooth first, the process extends further because the bones need to heal before the implant can be placed on it. However, nowadays most dentists can remove a tooth and put the implants at the same time to save time on double healing.  Once the dentist removes the tooth, he /she will fasten a healing cap onto the implant.

It takes about a week to heal depending on the patient’s health. Unfortunately, not all patients are eligible for immediate implants.  Patients are advised to discuss with their dentists first. Visit our family dentists at any of our facilities today to confirm if you are a candidate for immediate implants.

What Happens After Osseointegration?

After four to six months have passed, the dentist at Vita Dental Spring can now conduct a second surgery. By this time, the bone will have fused with the implant metal.

The dentist begins by removing the healing cap to stitch the surrounding gum. Once sutured with dissolvable stitches, the gum will now be left to heal around the cap and mold into the shape of the healing cap.

After the gum has completely healed and the bone has fused entirely, the dentist will now perform an additional surgery to remove the healing cap and secure an abutment. An abutment is the piece where the artificial tooth will eventually attach. This treatment is a minor surgery usually done with local anesthesia.

Complications That May Arise

Most dental implants are successful especially the ones performed by skilled dentists at Vita Dental Spring. However, there are cases where the bone fails to fuse adequately to the metal implant.  This further increases the healing period and may bring about certain complications. Smoking, for instance, can contribute to dental implant failure. When it happens, the dentist is required to remove the implant and clean up the bone. The patient can then try again in two to three months.

If you have experienced tooth loss and are looking to achieve a healthier smile, regain your lost self-esteem, and live a life devoid of embarrassment, consider receiving dental implants at Vita Dental Spring.