Healing After Dental Implants: What to Expect

In this blog from Mint Dental, we’re giving you a comprehensive overview of what you can expect from the dental implant procedure and aftercare. From healing time and osseointegration to aftercare do’s and don’ts, read on to find out what you can expect after receiving dental implants.

In This Article:

  1. Healing Time & Osseointegration
  2. Post Implant Surgery Bleeding & Swelling
  3. Aftercare Do’s
  4. Aftercare Don’ts
  5. Implant Dentistry at Mint Dental

Healing Time & Osseointegration

From the time the titanium post is first implanted into your jawbone, you will need 2 weeks to heal from this surgery. However, you will also need to wait 3-6 months before the next part of the procedure can take place. This is because it takes 3-6 months for the implant to fuse with the jawbone in a process called osseointegration.

You will return to the dentist for a second minor surgery where the gums will be reopened to attach the abutment to your implant. You will heal within a few days to 2 weeks but will need to wait 6 weeks for your tooth restoration. Once your dental crown is ready, this will be attached to the abutment and you can use your implanted tooth like a normal tooth.

Post Implant Surgery Bleeding & Swelling

It is normal to experience bleeding and swelling for up to 72 hours after dental implant surgery. However, you need to closely monitor how much and how long you are bleeding. Watch out for signs of mucositis or peri-implantitis, which include:

  • Redness
  • Swelling
  • Bleeding
  • Loose implant

After your implant surgery, you will be instructed to bite down on a fresh pair of gauze at the implant site for 30-60 minutes to stop the bleeding. Once the gauze is becoming too soaked with blood, replace it with fresh damp gauze. 

If bleeding is not slowing down, you can swap out gauze for a damp caffeinated tea bag. Caffeinated tea bags contain a chemical called tannic acid. Tannic acid promotes blood clotting because it causes the blood vessels to contract.

Aftercare Do’s

Make sure you frequently change your gauze or bite down on a caffeinated damp tea bag to stop bleeding. Relieve pain with over-the-counter or prescription pain medication and reduce swelling by keeping your head elevated and applying a cold compress to the swollen area of the face.

Apply an ice pack in 20-minute intervals and then take the ice off for 20 minutes in between. After the first 3 days, if swelling persists, you should switch to moist heat. You can eat soft foods but make sure that you chew on the opposite side of your mouth. Drink plenty of liquids and make sure you eat enough calories to get adequate nutrition and encourage healing.

You must keep your mouth and implant clean. Your dentist will give you specific care instructions, but you will likely be able to brush the surrounding teeth as long as you stay away from the implant site. You can also gently swish around a lukewarm saline solution in the mouth 3 times a day but make sure to let the liquid spill into the sink instead of spitting.

Aftercare Don’ts

If you smoke, you should consider quitting or refraining from smoking while you are healing from implant surgery. Cigarettes contain harmful chemicals, prolong the healing process, and prevent oxygen from reaching the soft tissue by constricting the blood vessels. Other habits you should avoid while recovering include:

  • Drinking alcohol, caffeine, or hot liquids
  • Strenuous physical activity for 7-10 days
  • Eating hard or sticky foods 
  • Wearing dentures
  • Sucking out of straws
  • Spitting
  • Eating anything until the local anesthesia has worn off

Implant Dentistry at Mint Dental

Are you wondering if you would be a suitable candidate for dental implants or want to find out more about the procedure? Contact us at Mint Dental and we’d be more than happy to give you more information. Schedule a consultation with Dr. Marwa or Dr. Keith Schulhof for an oral exam to determine whether or not you have adequate oral health and bone structure for the procedure.