The Normal Healing Time for Dental Implants

by Gary Adams DDS Implant Dentist  at Natural Dentist Associates

normal implant recovery timeThe Normal Recovery and Healing period for Dental Implants is usually 5-7 days when any symptoms at all should reduce to minimal to no pain at all. There are many patients who never experience any pain. Dental Implant surgery itself causes very little trauma and normally minimal if any pain with one reason being there are very few nerves in jaw bone. During the first 1-2 days after Dental Implant Surgery, there may be some dull achy pain with some occasional throbbing controlled by prescription medication. 3-5 days after an Implant procedure, you should feel mild to moderate soreness and maybe a very small amount of aching at night time. This is the absolute worst case scenario.   If there is any more pain than what is described above, you should call your implant dentist.

Dental Implant Surgery by itself is usually not painful at all, but Dental Implant Surgery can often be done at the same time as many other procedures. Many of these other procedures can have different healing times and may themselves cause soreness, inflammation and possibly pain.

PRF Platelet Rich Fibrin Can Accelerate Healing Time and Improve Healing of Bone After Implant Surgery PRF Really Should be used during Natural Bone Grafting, Implant Procedures and Tooth Removal.

Tooth Removal and Immediate Dental Implant Placement with Bone Grafting

If you broke your front tooth, you would want to get a new one ASAP. If the tooth could not be fixed, the ideal treatment would be to emergency tooth removal carefully, place a new root (the dental implant ), and if needed a bone graft, so you could get a new tooth right away. In this scenario, you would undergo a tooth removal procedure, a bone repair and dental implant surgery all at one time. Of course, if there was an accident causing the tooth to be broken, there may be trauma and removing a tooth would certainly cause more trauma even with the most careful tooth extraction technique. Bone grafts can be minor or major. During trauma, part of the bone can break with the tooth. Replacing a volume of bone, aka Block Bone graft, can take some time and care and the will be more inflammation later. Obviously, this procedure is going to be more painful. Placement of the Dental Implant is usually easy. You just place a new root into an already existing hole. Once the tooth is out, any grafting is done, Implant is placed, stitches, etc…you are sent home to heal for 10-14 weeks. I find that even during Immediate Implant Surgery with grafting, most people do not suffer more than moderate pain for 1-3 days totally controlled by prescription medications. My point here is not to cover the pain of every possible implant procedure, but rather to state, 1) Implant Surgery really does not hurt that much because there is very little trauma 2) other procedures with implants can cause additional, but manageable pain. What little pain there is with a dental implant, the reward is permanent tooth replacement.  We expect implants to last a lifetime.

normal implant recovery periodNormal Dental Implant Recovery

Days 1-2

possible dull achy pain with some occasional throbbing controlled by prescription medication.

Days 3-5

mild to moderate soreness and maybe a very small amount of aching at night time.

Days 5-7 – very minimal to no pain at all

How long do I need to wait after having teeth extracted to have an implant installed?

The best time to install a dental implant is at the time of natural tooth extraction. That is called immediate dental implant placement. The results of Dental Implants are better when you place a dental implant at the time of tooth extraction. Removing teeth and placing implants at a later time causes bone and gum loss. It also puts a patient through two procedures versus one. Two procedures normally costs more time and money too (note: It is usually necessary to do a bone graft in an extraction site to preserve bone for a future implant. Sometimes Immediate Implants do not require a bone grafting.). In some cases where there is a lot of infection It maybe necessary to place a dental implant at a later date. It is best to wait a very short period of time to prevent bone loss. In some cases, It maybe necessary to do a bone graft and have it heal prior to placing an implant. In my experience, this happens 25% of the time.

Can I get an Implant and a bone graft at the same time?

It is best to do an implant and a bone graft at the same time. The implant Provides a structure and a base for the new bone to grow up and around. Bone grafting may need to be done before placing implants if there is too much infection and bone loss or if there is not enough bone to place an implant.

Does everyone that gets a dental implant need a bone graft?

No. If there is enough bone present to place an implant, than no bone graft is necessary. There is adequate bone when there is enough bone height, width and quality of bone to place an appropriate size implant to replace the missing tooth. Common situations where there is adequate bone is 1) a previous extraction site where the site healed favorably and enough bone remains to place a dental implant 2) a site where a tooth is extracted and an implant is placed into the same extraction site.

Why should I go for dental implants and not a fake denture?

Partial dentures will lead to more tooth loss because it connects to remaining teeth and leverages them. Partial dentures ultimately lead to more tooth loss. Dental implants replace teeth, function and prevent bone loss. Dentures artificially replace teeth with fake prosthetics that stick or clip onto teeth or gums in the mouth. Dentures are not stable and since they do not replace tooth/root structure, there is still further bone loss. Implants look, feel and function similar to natural teeth. They also usually last a lifetime.

How painful is the dental implant procedure?

Dental Implant procedures do not normally cause much pain at all. There is not much trauma caused by the procedure and there are very few nerves in jawbone. Most individuals experience very minor symptoms that go away a week after a dental implant procedure. Procedures done with dental implants such as bone grafts and gum grafts and tooth extractions that do cause additional inflammation, discomfort and pain. Most oftenThe pain during any of these procedures is well-controlled by prescription medications.

Should I have all of my teeth removed and have dental implants put in place of them?

It may be more expensive, less predictable and produce a poorer result to fix all your natural teeth versus replacing all your teeth with dental implants, implant crowns and implant bridges. The decision to replace all your natural teeth with dental implants should be weighed very carefully and discussed with your dentist. A consultation with a dentist who has lots of experience doing dental implants and implant crowns and bridges on natural teeth is required.There are many considerations here including The amount time, money and health considerations that need to be weighed. Individuals who have high levels of susceptibility to cavities and gum disease may be better off replacing all their teeth with dental implants. Replacing all your teeth with dental implants is highly predictable, the results are beautiful and typically dental implants last a lifetime. People keeping natural teeth may experience future failures with cavities and gum disease and have future tooth loss. These people will find themselves spending additional money and may eventually find themselves ultimately replacing all the natural teeth with dental implants anyway.

All things being equal, Individuals with natural teeth that are in good condition are typically happier than individuals with a full mouth of dental implants. Any time you are going to consider spending a lot of money on crowns and bridges and root canals on natural teeth, it is very important to consider the likelihood of future failures. People who are highly susceptible to tooth decay and gum disease are very likely to be disappointed when their teeth fail once again in the future.The key here is to understand your level of susceptibility and be comfortable with your financial investment. If you have tons of money, and do not mind receiving future dental work, It may be better to keep your natural teeth. My point here is not to provide exact advice but rather to provide the rationale and logic for helping you to make the right decision about whether or not you should replace all your natural teeth with dental implants.

Can i have braces after dental implants?

Dental implants do not respond to orthodontic movement and they do not move when in braces. It is possible to have braces with implants. Teeth need to be moved very carefully around dental implants but make not mistake only the natural teeth surrounding the dental implants will move. Implants and bridges present in the mouth will not move with braces. Only individual natural teeth will move in a predictable fashion.
There are Orthopedic Services that will effectively grow bone and move teeth such as the DNA Appliance and ALF Appliance. DNA appliances are especially effective when there is tooth crowding and a small mouth and TMJ issues.

How long does a dental implant process take?

The dental implant process can be completed in as little as 10 weeks. How long the dental implant process takes depends on what needs to be done to replace a tooth. If there is enough bone present to place an implant, the implant only needs to heal for 8 to 10 weeks, at which point a crown can be placed on top of it and the implant process is complete. Many times there is a need for extensive bone grafting. Bone grafting can take up to four months to heal prior to placement of a dental implant. As stated before, the dental implant takes 8 to 10 weeks to heal, so if a site needs a bone graft and a dental implant placed separately, the patient can wait up to eight months to complete the implant process. Every tooth replacement case is different and the condition of the jaw bone in the area where the tooth needs to be replaced, determines how long the dental implant process will take.

Does getting dental implants hurt?

Dental Implants typically do not hurt too much. In fact many individuals receiving dental implants do not feel much of any pain at all. Typically there can be a little bit of soreness and an achey pain for a couple days, but all the pain typically goes away after one week. Most symptoms are controlled by prescription strength medications.

What is the best full set of dental implants ( full upper and full lower jaw)?

The best full set of dental implants is when individual implants are used with crowns and small bridges to replace all the natural teeth. This solution can take up to 10 to 12 implants per jaw and many individuals will not do this solution because of the high costs. Implant solutions vary in cost based on the number of implants and the type of teeth or crowns that are placed upon the implants. The All on Four Implant solution is a one piece bridge that can be connected to 4 to 6 dental implants and can replace and entire upper or lower set of teeth. This solution is very popular because the implant bridge stays permanently in the mouth and is far less expensive than a full mouth of implants and crowns. Not all implant bridges are the same, some of the teeth are made of plastic and others are made of high quality and very natural looking porcelain and zirconia. Ask questions so you know what you are getting in your mouch. One other solution is an Implant Denture solution that is removable and involves far fewer implants. An Implant Denture just like a conventional denture is made of acrylic or plastic teeth. This solution can be very functional and cost effective.

Pain After Dental Implant – Is this normal?

It is not normal to have much of any pain after a dental implant. If you are having significant pain from a dental implant you should contact your implant dentist. It is normal to have a minimal amount of discomfort for a few days after a dental implant surgery at which point there should be very little to no symptoms after a week.The pain from a dental implant should be very well controlled by prescription medications.

How Successful Are Dental Implants?

Dental implants are typically between 95 to 97% successful. Success rates will decrease when there are individuals who are unhealthy or there are Dental Implants being placed into jaw bone where there used to be  root canals and other bad dental infections. Sometimes when there has not been a tooth present for a long period of time, implant success rate decrease due to bone atrophy (even when bone volume is good. Just because there is bone, does not mean the bone is vital and of good quality. especially where root canals have been the bone health can be especially poor). Once there has been a failure of an implant and after the site has healed, the success rates go back up to 95 to 97%. This is because the jawbone and has regained its capacity to heal and is more vital than before. Take for example, a root canal site where there has been lots of infection and lets get technical here -a root canal is a dead tooth and there obviously is a strange relationship between a dead tooth and live jawbone. Root canals seem to create an odd relationship between a dead tooth with foreign material stuffed into the root and live jawbone. Placing dental implants into sites where root canal teeth have been can be very unpredictable. I have to admit a certain amount of anxiety about placing an implant into the root canal site. I place dental implants the same way every time and theoretically there should be uniform success rates across teeth replaced with dental implants. I find that dental implants experience lower success rates when they are replacing a root canal tooth.This does not mean you should not have a root canal tooth replaced with a dental implant, It just means that there may be some difficulty in getting it replaced and you should not blame your implant dentist for the failure.

How necessary is it to get either a bridge or a dental implant after a molar is pulled?

When teeth are not replaced with a dental implant or bridge, the remaining teeth will shift and there is a tendency for more teeth to be lost. Typically the loss of one tooth will lead to the loss of several more teeth10 years down the road. If someone is serious about keeping their teeth in their mouth, it is necessary to replace a lower molar with a bridge or a dental implant. Once teeth are lost, there will be more pressure placed upon the remaining teeth and teeth will shift and there will be more gum disease and tooth cavities.

Are dental implants safe and reliable?

Dental implants are very safe and reliable. Dental implants in fact are more reliable than natural teeth because they are not susceptible to cavities of gum disease.

Can you get invisalign when you have a dental implant?

You can do Invisalign with dental implants, however the natural teeth will move but the dental implant will not. Treatment should be planned so the movement will only be done by the natural teeth and not the dental implant. There are dental orthopedic appliances that will work in situations where there are implants and tooth crowding. The ALF Appliance and DNA Appliance are examples of appliances that will work with dental implants. All this being said, it is better move teeth and grow bone prior to placing dental implants whenever possible.

Oral Surgeon or Regular Dentist for Dental Implant?

Neither. It is best to find a dentist that is very experienced in placing Dental Implants and the implant crowns that go upon them. It is best to find one dentist who does both of these things. A dentist who places and restores dental implants will likely produce the best results for the patient. An implant dentist will see the case from start to finish with the end result in mind and understands every aspect and detail of replacing teeth with dental implants. An implant dentist can replace teeth with dental implants faster, more efficiently and typically for a lower price. I am sure if you asked a regular dentist and an oral surgeon, they would disagree. Everyone is entitled to their opinion, and this is my opinion.

What’s the best type of specialist to see for dental implant?

It is best to see a dental implant specialist. Unfortunately in the field of dentistry because of politics, the dental boards do not recognize any dentist as being an “implant specialist.” You will need to interview your dentist and ask them things like how many implants they have placed and whether they do implant surgery and implant crowns. It is best to find a dentist who has lots of experience with doing implant surgery and implant crowns. An implant dentist that does a lot of dental implants typically has a 3D x-ray machine also called a CBCT cone beam system. 3D Xray machines are very expensive and can only be purchased by a dentist who does a lot of implants. 3D x-ray machines are typically found in offices where they specialize in dental implants. And example of a 3-D x-ray machine is an ICAT. Many implant dentists and oral surgeons have these machines.

How long to dental implants take to heal?

Typically it takes 8 to 12 weeks for a dental implant to heal. Sometimes in areas where the bone quality is not as good or bone grafting is necessary, it can take up to eight months to successfully receive a dental implant tooth.

How old do I need to be go get dental implants? 

Dental implants should not be placed before the age of 16 or 18. Individuals who are still growing and where there is significant growth still occurring, should not receive a dental implant till the growth is mostly complete.

Do you think I am too old to have dental implants done?

Any individual who wants to continue to be able to eat their food and is healthy can receive a dental implant. As stated above, someone should reach the age of 16 or 18 before receiving a dental implant.

What are the benefits of dental implants?

Dental implants can provide a permanent tooth replacements solution. Dental implants Help people continue to be able to chew and smile and carryout normal life activities. Dental implants prevent bone loss, Provide a stable chewing function and promote overall health. Dental implants do not promote tooth loss as many tooth replacement options have done in the past.

 Will dental implants prevent bone loss?

dental implants bone loss

Yes, dental implants absolutely prevent bone loss. Dental implants stimulate the bone as food is chewed upon them. If implants are placed in a timely fashion after teeth are lost, there really is no opportunity for bone loss.

I have metal in my mouth dental implants — anyone know if this would be a problem??

Metal in the mouth can be a problem especially if there are different metals in the mouth. For example an individual can have a gold crown, silver filling and a titanium implant. Care must be taken when there are multiple metals in the mouth. Different metals will react with one another in the mouth causing electricity to flow fromThe different metals. When electricity flows, there is also a magnetic field. This is called a galvanic reaction. Certainly the addition of another metal, Titanium, needs to be considered.

Which material implant is best for an incisor? 

Probably a ceramic or Zirconia implant since it is tooth colored and will never show any metal color by the gum line.There are circumstances where the issue of titanium versus zirconia implants needs to be weighed. Generally ceramic is a better choice in the cosmetic zone.

 What are the symptoms in a dental implant failure?

Moderate to severe pain or if the implant is loose.

Dental Implants versus Partial Denture

Dental Implants replace the root structure and the chewing function and power of the lost tooth. Dental Implants prevent bone loss. Partial dentures attach and put pressure on the remaining teeth. Partial Dentures a large, bulky, annoying and uncomfortable…they can rub on the gums. Partials eventually cause more tooth loss by putting pressure on the remaining teeth.  Partial Dentures will cause you to lose more teeth and you will even need more implants later.

Do I need to be put to sleep for dental implants?

No. Unless you have extreme fear. It may be a good idea to be sedated if you are receiving multiple implants and extractions. We offer dental implants with Sedation in our Rockville Maryland dental office.