Are you considering a dental implant procedure and wondering how long it will take to completely heal from it? This is a common question many patients have regarding implants. It is also a deciding factor in some cases for patients who are trying to decide if a dental implant is the best option for them. Recovery time is a big factor, because we lead busy lives and may not have time for a long healing process.
The length of time it takes you to heal from your implant procedure is unique and may differ from other patients. But here’s the average time frame and the factors that can have an impact.
Average Dental Implant Healing Time
A general average for healing after a dental implant is 6 months. Before you let this concern you, remember that this is just the average. For some it takes around 3-4 months and for others it can take as long as 8-12 months.
It is important to note that this is the time frame for complete healing. You will not be laid up on the couch for months recovering from a dental implant procedure. In fact, most patients return to normal activities the next day following their procedure.
The 6 month average is based on the time it takes for the implant root to be fully bonded with the jaw bone and the gum tissue to be healed so that the final permanent crown can be placed.
Factors that Affect Recovery Time
How long it takes for you to recover will depend on a variety of factors, including:
- Preparatory procedures. If you require a bone graft or sinus lift procedure before your dental implant procedure, this adds months onto your total healing time. Preparatory procedures must be done first and be fully healed before the implant procedure can take place.
- How many implants you have placed. If you are getting more than one implant to replace multiple teeth or to support a denture arch, it may take longer to heal because you have multiple surgical sites.
- Your oral and general health. Your recovery time will be shorter if you have good existing oral health and you’re free from gum disease. Your overall health will also have an affect on your recovery time. If you have any preexisting conditions that cause you to heal more slowly, it will affect your implant procedure healing time.
- Following post-op instructions. You will recover more quickly if you follow your dentist’s instructions following surgery to properly care for the implant site. Eat soft foods for the first 24 hours and avoid drinking through a straw. Apply ice to the outside of your cheek or jaw to reduce swelling. Rinse with salt water 3 times a day. Take care to avoid the area when you brush your teeth. Following these and all other instructions from your dentist will speed up your recovery time and help you avoid setbacks.
- Your dental hygiene. It is extremely important to practice good oral hygiene habits following your dental implant procedure. It is necessary to brush and floss your teeth, avoiding the healing area. Preventing gum disease and tooth decay of the surrounding teeth is very important to the successful healing of your implant site.
- Any unhealthy habits. Avoid smoking or chewing tobacco products following your dental implant procedure. These habits can irritate the implant site and slow the healing process. Seriously consider quitting beforehand if you can to give yourself the healthiest possible start.
Meridian Dental Group has their team of specialists ready to place implants successfully and restore your healthy smile!