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How Long Does It Take to Recover From a Dental Implant Procedure?

recovery time for dental implants

There’s no getting around it: any surgery requires a bit of downtime, even a procedure as minor as dental implant surgery.

If you’re considering implants for your missing teeth, you might only be thinking of the ways these artificial teeth can brighten your smile – which is a definite win! However, understanding the recovery time for dental implants is a crucial way to be well-informed before you dive in.

Here’s what to expect from the recovery process after you’ve received your implants.

What’s the Recovery Time for Dental Implants?

Let’s be clear up front: the recovery time for dental implants varies a great deal.

Different patients will always have different experiences. There are also two different dental implant healing stages to consider. However, we can give you some general guidelines:

Stage 1: The Initial Implant Post

After you get your implant post, you can expect to spend 3-6 months recovering. During this time, your jawbone will bond to the titanium posts your surgeon has implanted into your gum tissue.

Despite any pain or discomfort, however, most patients can get back to their daily activities within a day of the procedure. Within a few days, swelling should go down, and you should start experiencing little to no pain.

Stage 2: The Abutment

Once your implant has fused with your jawbone, your oral surgeon will place an abutment atop it. This abutment connects to the prosthetic crown above it, and most patients need around 1-2 weeks to heal from the procedure. After your dentist is satisfied with your healing, they’ll place the crown to complete the implant process.

Factors That Affect Recovery Time

Why do some patients heal from this tooth replacement surgery faster than others? There are a few factors that can affect your recovery time:

Bone Density

The density of your jaw is a big factor. If your jawbone has weakened after the loss of your tooth, you may have less bone mass into which the surgeon can place a post.

This doesn’t always mean you can’t get implants or that you’ll require bone grafting first. However, it sometimes means that your implant will take longer to fuse with the bone.

Gum Health

Your dentist will do a thorough oral inspection to make sure you’re in good condition to get implants. However, if you currently have or recently had gum disease, you may be at a higher risk for peri-implantitis, an infection that can cause complications with your implants. Treating gum disease and maintaining healthy gums can keep your risk low.

Oral Hygiene

After the procedure, you’ll get some dental implant post-op instructions. Follow these closely!

Taking care of the area around your implants can keep bacteria at bay. While this bacteria can’t attack the titanium post or abutment, it can attack the soft tissues around your implant. This can weaken the tissues in question, causing infection, a loss of support around the implant, and other complications that can delay healing.


A healthy diet will always encourage faster healing than a poor one. Make sure you’re sticking with a nutrient-rich diet with plenty of vitamin C and calcium to promote bone and tissue health.

Tobacco Use

Using tobacco products can lengthen your recovery timeline. Because smoking causes blood vessels to constrict, it can reduce blood flow in the area (thus reducing the amount of vital nutrients delivered). Try to stop smoking during the recovery phase, at least, to reduce the risk of complications.

How to Promote Healing at Home

If you want to minimize your recovery time and even reduce any pain from dental implants, there are a few things you can try at home.

Care for Your Mouth

First, take good care of the implant site. Again, you’ll get specifics about this during your consultation or after your procedure.

Take care not to disturb the incision area. It may be tender during the first 24 hours after the procedure.

Keep your mouth clean. Maintain your oral hygiene as your dentist recommends. They may advise you to use a warm saltwater solution instead of your regular mouthwash to help promote healing.

When eating food, be careful not to disturb the implant site. Avoid using a straw, and steer clear of any tough, chewy, or hard foods that could damage your implant.

Reduce Bleeding

Minor bleeding is a normal part of the recovery process. You can expect this for up to 24-72 hours after your procedure.

However, curbing bleeding early can help jump-start your oral healing. Once blood has clotted, it becomes easier for the incision site to heal.

As needed, try placing some folded gauze placed over the area. Bite down gently for around 30 minutes.

Control Inflammation

Inflammation is the body’s response to trauma, but too much of it can slow down the healing process. Getting swelling under control early can do more than reduce your pain; it also helps you heal!

To minimize swelling, you can use over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medicine. In some cases, your dentist may prescribe some.

You can also try ice therapy. However, make sure to use the ice pack on the skin outside your mouth, never right against your gums or the incision site.


Rest is the best way to help your body heal. Make sure you’re getting enough sleep, and avoid strenuous activities or vigorous exercise until your oral surgeon tells you it’s safe to do so.

Promote Healing After Dental Implants

A lot of factors go into the recovery time for dental implants, but a large part of healing is up to you! Following your dentist’s instructions, getting enough rest, and avoiding bad habits can help your mouth recuperate after your procedure.

It should go without saying that another crucial factor during your recovery is your dentist! Here at Forest Park Dental, our experience with dental implants helps ensure that patients bounce back from these procedures in no time. With trained specialists and an on-site lab for crown creation, the process is fast and simple.

To ask questions or schedule a consultation, patients in St. Louis and the surrounding areas can call (314) 367-7200 or fill out our online form.

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