Here’s something that may surprise you: most patients report feeling less discomfort than they expected following their dental implant surgery. While that may sound like great news (okay, it is great news), it’s still important to remember than implants are an invasive dental procedure that requires adequate recovery time.
You’ll be given a thorough list of aftercare instructions before your procedure, and while proper aftercare is vital to the healing process, it’s also important to know about the other things you can do to set yourself up for a quick and easy recovery.
Believe it or not, your decisions and activities post-surgery can greatly impact your recovery time.
Let’s look at some of the simple things you can do to go beyond the aftercare instructions and ensure you have the best recovery possible.
How Long Does It Take to Recover from Dental Implant Surgery?
Everyone heals at a different rate, so I recommend taking a little down time if you can.
If you’re not sure how much time you’ll need, it can help to think about your past medical history and the knowledge you have of your body: have you experienced normal, healthy recoveries in the past? A certain amount of bleeding, swelling, and discomfort are a normal post-surgery—your past experiences with recovering from injuries or medical procedures may help you determine an approximate healing time after your dental implant surgery.
However, even if you’ve bounced back from every medical procedure at a record rate, it’s best to over-plan for your recovery, just in case.
Beyond AfterCare: Tips for Healing from Dental Implant Surgery
Dental implant surgery and post-op recovery are almost never as bad as patients expect. Once the anesthesia starts to wear off, you’ll notice some tenderness in the area, but the swelling should go down within 48 hours.
Your aftercare starts immediately after the surgery. The most basic steps* include:
- Following the medication schedule I’ve recommended for you
- Only drinking cool liquids and avoiding eating until the anesthesia has completely worn off
- Sticking to a liquid diet for the first day
(**Note that the above is only a partial list of aftercare instructions. Please follow the list provided by our office for complete aftercare steps)
Here are a few more simple but extremely effective tips to expedite your recovery.
- Keep it low-key. Try not to do anything too strenuous immediately after your procedure.
- Avoid stress. Dental implant surgery doesn’t leave you as incapacitated as other dental procedures—i.e., wisdom teeth extractions—it’s still a shock to the system. Don’t let your recovery process get slowed down by stress. Clear your schedule of anything that isn’t completely necessary, don’t commit to anything you may not be up for doing, and spend your time focused on healing.
- Skip your workout. You don’t have to be immobile. Simply avoid high-impact or strenuous physical activity for 24-48 hours. This is a precautionary measure to ensure so that the implant site doesn’t become irritated.
You may find that dedicating a few days solely to recovery can actually be a pleasant and relaxing experience. If you opt to stay home until you’ve fully healed, here are a few low-key activities to keep you occupied:
- Indulge with some good screen time. Watch TV, movies, or even binge watch that series you haven’t had time to see yet.
- Read. Whether it’s a novel or a newspaper, reading can be a low-stress and highly enjoyable way to relax while your dental implants heal.
- Ask for help, and enjoy the downtime. It’s ideal to have someone help you during your recovery, especially during the first days following the procedure. If you have children, it’s easiest to have someone else take care of them on the day of the surgery. It’s also great if you can have someone nearby to help you prepare liquid foods. Just make sure that you’re resting, relaxing, and not doing anything to exert yourself—let people help you, and focus your energy on enjoying a little (hopefully blissful downtime)
By following the aftercare instructions and giving yourself the time to relax and rest post-surgery, recovery from your dental implant procedure should go swimmingly.
Have you got additional questions about recovering from dental implant surgery? Look for my follow-up to this post in the coming weeks dedicated specifically to aftercare instructions.
Remember, we’re here to help answer any questions you may have, give our office a call to schedule a consultation. And feel free to come to our free Patient Implant Seminar on Thursday, November 17th from 6pm – 8pm to learn more!