What symptoms are typical during dental implant recovery? How to shorten the healing time?

Dental implant surgery is not the end of the road when it comes to getting a new smile. Patients are often amazed at how simple this stage is. It may be surprising that the recovery period itself can be more discomforting.

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It is during this time that your mouth heals and fuses with the implant. Learn what to expect and when you should be concerned.

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What to expect during dental implant recovery?

The implant procedure is surgical in nature. It is expected that you will need some downtime. The following symptoms are not complications nor do they mean that something has gone wrong.

This is simply what the healing process is like, no matter whether you are getting a single implant or a full mouth, such as the All-on-4. Remember to focus on excellent aftercare to aid healing and avoid problems. Most of these symptoms can be resolved with only rest and keeping the area clean.


There is bound to be some bleeding from the implant site for about 48-72 hours after the surgery. If your implant is on the upper arch or if you had sinus lifting, you might also experience bleeding from your nose.

Dentists often compare oozing after implant placement to tooth extraction. There is likely to be even less bleeding, as the implant closes off the gap that would otherwise be left open. Some patients may feel that there is a lot of bleeding when in fact your saliva is just thinning it out.


About 2-3 days after the surgery you might notice some bruising on your face. This will disappear on its own.

The soft tissues in your mouth might also appear black, blue, green, or yellow. This discoloration takes place as the blood comes up to the surface of your gums during surgery and healing.


The area around your mouth, cheeks, and eyes may swell up about 2 days after the procedure. This is common, especially with bone grafting. If you take medication containing codeine or caffeine, the swelling is likely to disappear faster. You can also use a cold compress (20 minutes on and 20 minutes off) to bring it down. The swelling should subside after about 4 days. If swelling continues to get worse, the area seems hot, or you begin to run a fever, contact your dentist, as this may be a sign of dental implant infection.


You are likely to feel some discomfort in the days following the surgery. There will be a new object in your mouth and bone. It might take some time to get used to it. Your lips may also feel dry and stretched. A sore throat and trouble swallowing are common, especially if you were sedated.

Implant placement normally does not cause a great deal of pain. Bone has no nerve endings, so the drilling should not be painful during or after surgery. You will have anesthesia in your system for a few hours after you leave the office. This should manage soreness of the soft tissues.

Your dentist might recommend that you take some OTC painkillers before the sedation wears off. You should not need to take any for more than 3 days after your surgery.


You may feel light-headed after you leave the office. This is a natural side effect of anesthesia. It should subside within a few hours. Avoid physical exercise and bending over for a couple of days to prevent dizziness from returning.

Nausea and vomiting

Many patients feel nauseous after receiving anesthesia, especially if it was administered orally. This feeling should disappear in the course of about 3 hours. You can take OTC products that suppress such discomfort.


A raised temperature is common after oral surgery. Please note, however, that it should not go above 101.5°F. If it does, contact your doctor.

What affects dental implant recovery time?

Every patient is different, so it’s difficult to say how long your recovery will take exactly. There are some indicators that help predict what it will be like for you. Among them are:

  • the number and location of implants,
  • quality of oral hygiene,
  • smoking habits,
  • how long the tooth was missing, and
  • whether bone grafting or sinus lifting were needed.

The more implants were placed, the longer healing might take. This is because the bone and gums have to endure more stress during the surgery. The location is also important, as the lower jawbone tends to heal faster than the upper arch.

Dr. Richard Hattaway

During the recovery period it is critical to follow the recommendations provided by your clinician.

Consistent oral hygiene before and during the implant process is vital to speed recovery up. Smoking, on the other hand, slows the process down. Nicotine constricts vessels and blood is not free to flow to the soft tissues as efficiently. In the long term, this can even lead to implant failure.

Dr. Peter March

Any reduction in smoking is beneficial to the health of the tissues in the mouth and the entire organism. Abstinence before and after implant surgery is critical for implant success.

When the tooth has been missing for a long time, the implantologist might have to make an incision in the bone. Such a procedure stretches the recovery out. If the replaced tooth needs to be extracted, you might get the implant the same day. This depends on your individual situation.

Additionally, if you had bone grafting or sinus lifting before the surgery, an extra period of healing might take up to a year.


How long does it take to recover from dental implant surgery?

Dentists compare implant placement surgery recovery to what it’s like after a tooth extraction. Coming around from anesthesia lasts a few hours. The stitches usually dissolve within a few days up to two weeks. At the same time, most post-op symptoms disappear and the next stage of healing can begin.

A process called osseointegration must also take place before a permanent restoration is placed. This process takes about 5-7 months.

Bone graft healing can stretch over a few months. Altogether it can take about a year on average from grafting to placement of the crown.

Can you drive home after a dental implant?

Whether you can drive or have to take time off work depends on the type of anesthesia you receive. This procedure can be done under deeper types, rather than simply under a local injection.

IV and general sedation usually require at least one day of rest. Someone will also need to assist you on your way home. Most patients return to work the next day.

How long does it take for gums to heal after implants?

An abutment can usually be placed around 2 weeks after implant insertion. 2 or 3 more weeks may then be allowed for the implant site to heal before the permanent crown is cemented into place. This can vary depending on the type of implant you are receiving.

How can I make my dental implant heal faster?

Make sure to follow your dentist’s post-op instructions. They may be individualized to your situation. Additionally, do not smoke and stick to soft foods during recovery. The best way to make your mouth heal faster is to avoid any actions that may disrupt this process.

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