It is crucial to understand what dental implants are and the duration needed for recovery if you consider getting them at a reliable dental office like Century Smile Dental.
Dental implants are synthetic replacements for the tooth root. While there are removable implants, most of them that require dental surgery are intended to be permanent.
The average duration for complete recovery from such dental procedures is about 6 to 8 months. But, as is often the case with any invasive surgical procedure, complications may arise and affect the recovery timeline.
Some patients, for example, may require other procedures like bone grafting before the actual implantation. Other pre-existing medical or dental conditions could also affect recovery.
A typical dental implant surgical procedure involves inserting a metal post into the jawbone. An artificial crown (the visible implant) is then affixed to this metal post. While this whole process might seem like a simple matter to some people, it is a very serious undertaking for the dental surgeon and the patient.
Reasons for Dental Implantation
Tooth decay is one of the major reasons that may force people to consider dental implants. After damaging significant portions of the tooth beyond the point of a dental filling, dental implants become the next best thing.
Trauma is also a good reason; an accident may completely dislodge or damage teeth, necessitating dental implants to restore chewing function and aesthetics.
Depending on your circumstances, the dentist may recommend removable implants or permanent ones. Recovery time is usually a concern among patients considering permanent implants that require a dental surgical procedure.
Recovery Time for Dental Implants
It is important to distinguish between “feeling normal” and complete recovery. While feeling normal may be subjective, it usually takes about 2 weeks for the odd sensation of a “foreign” object in your mouth to subside. When the tongue and the mouth get used to the sensation of the artificial dental crowns without distinguishing them from a natural tooth, most people would consider that normal.
Your dental surgeon will probably estimate a timeline of about 8 months for complete recovery. Complete recovery, however, may take longer. The human body, unlike a mechanical or electronic device, rarely responds with 100% precision. This fact explains such a long recovery period.
Several factors may impact this recovery. The initial cause that necessitated dental implants, for example, will determine the exact steps needed for full implantation.
There are individuals with weak jawlines. Such jawbones may not ensure the longevity of the screw-like metal post of the dental implant. The dental surgeon will opt to perform a bone grafting procedure to strengthen the jawbone in such patients.
The bone grafting procedure alone accounts for a significant portion of the time needed for complete recovery from a dental implant procedure.
With success rates of about 98%, dental implant procedures are usually complication-free. Of course, it is advisable always to follow your dentist’s advice to ensure the whole process goes smoothly. Seemingly innocuous details, like the exact position of the implant on the jawbone, can influence recovery time.
Breaking down the benefits of dental implants will further help to appreciate the time needed for recovery. These benefits include:
i)Easier chewing: Eating while having dentures can be cumbersome. Dental implants, on the other hand, feel more like natural teeth because of being permanently fixed. This fact makes them ideal for chewing food without the inconveniences that dentures present.
- ii) Comfort: Unlike dentures, dental implants will feel normal once your mouth gets used to them. This makes it easy to chew food and engage in regular oral activities without getting displaced.
iii) Enhanced Durability: Dental implants are meant to last a long time (usually a lifetime). With the proper care, you won’t have to worry about replacement, as is generally the case with dentures.
How to Speed Up Your Recovery
Recovery time for dental implant surgeries can take months. However, you can cut down on this recovery time by following the proper dental care procedures and advice recommended by your dentist. These may include:
1)Avoiding Tobacco Products
Smoking is a contributory factor toward prolonging recovery time. A regular smoker should avoid smoking for the entire recovery period.
2) Number of Dental Implants Inserted
Recovery is usually much quicker when the procedure involves only one dental implant. Multiple implant insertions mean more trauma to the mouth and jawbone tissues during the procedure, hence a longer recovery period.
3) Other Factors
As mentioned, a weak jawbone cannot support a dental implant. This means a bone grafting procedure has to be performed before the dental implant can be inserted.
Diabetes is also another factor that can hamper quick recovery. This is because of complications with the tiny blood vessels in the gum, a regular effect of uncontrolled diabetes.
Both these factors can affect recovery time, but properly controlled diabetes will reduce recovery time.