How long is the healing phase after getting dental implants
The standard dental implant process is a multi-step process. More than one healing stage may be required. Thus, the recovery time can vary, depending on the amount of teeth involved, the patient’s health, etc. Here is a list of steps that happen between the procedure and healing, once these steps have successfully been finished, you will have healthy, new teeth.
- If grafting of bone is required, a waiting period of four to six months may be necessary before the next process can be completed. Grafting is required only if the patient doesn’t have enough bone at the site of the implant.
- In case bone grafting is not required, but extractions must be done, there is also a healing time necessary for the gum injury. A current practice is to place the implants at the same time as the extractions so that a double healing time is not required. Before the gum tissue is stitched over, a healing cap is screwed onto the implant. Healing can take about a week, depending on the health of the patient .
- A second surgery is then performed after four to six months when the bone has fused with the implant metal. The healing cap is left exposed and the gum is stitched around it. The gum heals around the cap, adapting to the shape of the cap.
- Once the gum has healed completely, and osseo-integration is complete, your dentist can remove the healing cap and place an abutment, where the artificial tooth or denture can be placed.
Implants get their special advantage from a process called Osseo-integration. Osseo-integration is a process when bone cells fuse into the surface of the implant once they have been inserted into the bone. This naturally forms strong bond, and the implant becomes a part of the bone. Osseo-integration is a slow process, which can take anywhere between two to six months to bond completely.
How to take care of your dental implants after surgery
- Any discomfort usually subsides within the first 24 to 48 hours.
- Your healing time can be decreased with pain medication and moist heat.
- Eat a soft diet for the first few days and avoid arduous physical activity.
- Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and gentle strokes to avoid damage to the dental sutures.
- Rinse with a special mouthwash to help kill oral bacteria.
- Rinse your mouth with warm salt water a few times a day.
- Once the gums have completely healed, you should take care of your implants just like you your natural teeth. Brush them at least twice a day and floss at least once.
- Special brushes and dental floss can assist with cleaning the hard-to-reach parts of your dental implants
- Make sure you schedule regular dental exams and cleanings.
- With proper care and hygiene, your dental implants can last a lifetime.
Find out more about dental implants here.