Dental implants are a permanent way of replacing teeth. Although the treatment involves a surgical and prosthetic or esthetic component, the surgical component requires time to heal. One of the most common questions we hear is,
What is the recovery time for dental implants?
Quick Dental Implant Recovery Facts:
- Most patients go to work the next/same day.
- Over-the-counter medications usually suffice for pain.
- The average healing time for a dental implant is 4-6 months for “full healing” to occur before final teeth can be placed.
The healing time for placing dental implants is a complex process that can vary greatly from person to person. Please take a look at the factors below that influence the healing time of dental implants. Feel free to leave a comment if we didn’t cover your question!
Although a surgical procedure, placing an implant is a small surgical procedure that has a very short recovery time that usually only requires patients to take over the counter medication such as Ibuprofen (Motrin). Our patients have their sutures (stitches) removed at around 14 days after surgery and then can go on with their lives as normal.
The dental implant is placed in the bone to replace the root portion of the tooth. When this happens, it takes multiple months for osseointegration to happen. Osseointegration derives from the Greek word, osteon (bone), and the Latin word, integrate (to make whole). The term refers to the direct structural and functional connection between living bone and the surface of a load-bearing (as defined by Albrektsson et al. in 1981) artificial implant. This means that the bone fuses to the implant to become stable enough to hold a tooth on it. Unfortunately, this is a process that cannot be sped up. The process takes around 2-4 months to be completed. Once osseointegration has finished, your dental implant can have a tooth attached and you can start chewing on the implant without problems.
If you have a failing tooth that needs to be removed, the implant process is extended because we need to wait to for the bone to heal before we can place an implant to restore the tooth. Often times a bone graft is placed in the tooth socket to hold the bone open and make it easier to place an implant at a later date.
In rare situations, an implant can be placed the same day as the tooth is removed. This is great because it can save our patients time in healing (4-6months) and get their teeth faster. However, not all patients or teeth are candidates for immediate implants. Patients should speak with their dentist about looking at a CT scan and seeing if they are candidates for immediate implants.