Healing After Dental Implants

woman with a big smile - dental implant healing

Healing After Dental Implants

There are many different options when it comes to restoring missing teeth. From dentures to bridges, to dental implants, the choice can be difficult. Although implants may initially be more painful, they will last a lifetime and look and feel just like natural teeth. Knowing the ins and outs of healing after dental implants can better prepare you for making the right choice. 

The Dental Implant Healing Timeline


Immediately After Surgery

  • Due to the anesthetic, there is little pain for the first few hours after the implant surgery. You should fill any prescriptions for pain medications, or pick up a pain reliever like ibuprofen, during this time frame. That way, when the numbing wears off, you will have them ready. Warning: Only take pain medication as prescribed by your dentist.
  • Bleeding will occur for one to two hours after the surgery. After that, you may see small spots of blood.
  • Swelling of the implantation site and cheek is normal, but cold compresses can help reduce inflammation. Do not apply a cold compress directly to the site, unless otherwise directed.
  • Plan to eat only soft foods for the next few days, and use a mouth rinse as directed by your dentist. 
  • Be sure to not touch or brush the site, so that you don’t dislodge the blood clot at the implant site. Blood clots are your body’s natural way of healing. 


1-3 Days After Surgery

  • You will likely experience swelling, discomfort, pain, and weariness. 
  • Follow the post-surgery instructions for pain management. 
  • Many people find relief in cold packs pressed gently against the outside of the cheek closest to the implant site.
  • The bleeding should have stopped completely by the end of the three days. If you are still bleeding significantly, call your dentist.  
  • Keep to soft foods. 


4-7 Days After Surgery

  • Pain, discomfort, and swelling should all be very minimal at this point.


1-2 Weeks After Surgery

  • This is normally when you will have a follow-up appointment to check on how your implants are healing. 
  • The insertion site should be healed over, and only tender (not painful) to the touch. 


3-6 Months After Surgery

  • There should be no pain during this time. 
  • The jaw bone will continue to fuse to the implant, creating a stable anchor to place the crown. 


Four Tips to Speed Up and Aid Healing


1. Practice Good Oral Care 

During the beginning stages of healing, your dentist will tell you the proper way to care for the oral implantation site. Most often you will be given an oral rinse and told to not brush the site. Keeping your mouth clean is a good way to avoid infections, speed up the healing process, and keep discomfort to a minimum. 


2. Eat Only Soft Foods 

Eating soft foods will help keep unnecessary pressure off your healing jaw and make your mouth easy to clean. Soft foods also minimize the possibility of getting hard foods stuck in your insertion site, which can cause pain or infections. 


3. Get Some Extra Rest 

Although you can’t put life on hold, it is important to prioritize rest and relaxation while your implant site heals. Rest is a good way for your body to divert its energy into healing, making the process shorter.


4. Call Your Dentist If Worried 

Being stressed is not good for your healing body. If you have any concerns about your implant site and how it’s healing, call your dentist. They may want you to come in for an appointment so you can get an x-ray to ensure that the pain is not from improper healing. 


Dental Implant Surgery in the Prescott Area

If you are looking for dental implants, get them from the best surgeons in the area. Hicks Dental Group offers the best care along with the most knowledgeable, experienced, and kindest dentists. We can walk you through the ins and outs of dental implants as well as the healing process. Contact us today for a consultation and take the next step toward restoring your smile.



Images used under creative commons license – commercial use (12/31/22). Photo by Alexander Krivitskiy on Unsplash.