Just as with all surgeries, recovery time for dental implants can vary from person to person. The number of teeth affected by the surgery and also how the patient handles their recovery by following instructions are two of the main factors that will determine recovery time.
Most dental implant surgeries are performed under local anesthesia, or in combination with an oral sedative.
For simpler surgeries, such as, replacing one missing back tooth or a failing tooth, requiring very little or no grafting, there is normally no post-operative pain or swelling of the area.
If discomfort occurs in these types of surgeries, it is often very little and can be easily managed by the patient. Eating soft foods, along with very gentle teeth brushing for a few days, will usually be all that is needed for a full and speedy recovery.
Some dental implant patients will experience small amounts of swelling in the gum area, and many times, a small amount of bruising for a few days. There is medication that is more than sufficient to remedy the discomfort, combined with the instructions provided by the dentist. For simple dental implant surgeries, patients are normally back to eating their regular diets within a week to ten days. In severe cases, full recovery could take up to six weeks before a patient can return to normal everyday life.
There are certain lifestyle habits that can exacerbate the discomfort of the recovery period, such as smoking. If a patient is a cigarette smoker, it is best to cut down tremendously while recovering, or cease smoking altogether. Smoking can lengthen the recovery time and affect the healing process in a negative way. Excessive drinking of alcohol, a poor diet, and poor dental hygiene, can also affect and lengthen the healing process.
With proper care and gentle, but regular dental hygiene, dental implant surgery patients can experience full recovery and enhanced dental health, within a couple of weeks.