What to Expect Recovering from Dental Implant Surgery

Dental implants are a standard solution when a person loses a tooth due to an accident or illness. The surgery to install dental implants involves placing a small titanium post into the jawbone. This post then fuses with the bone to create a strong and stable foundation for a replacement tooth.

Dental implant surgery still needs healing time despite being a relatively simple procedure. That ensures the implant properly integrates into the jawbone. Knowing what to expect during the recovery period is crucial.


Immediate Aftercare


Immediately after the dental implant surgery, the patient’s mouth remains numb. That is due to local anesthesia. It is best to avoid biting or chewing on the numb area to prevent any accidental injury. The patient should avoid drinking hot liquids or eating hot food until the numbness wears off.


Swelling and Pain


Swelling and pain are common after dental implant surgery. Patients should anticipate that swelling will peak about three days following surgery. It may take up to a week to go down completely. It is best to place an ice pack on the injured area for about 20 minutes to reduce swelling.

Pain is also common after dental implant surgery. Fortunately, OTC analgesics like ibuprofen or acetaminophen can help relieve the pain. Patients must follow the dosage instructions on the medication packaging and not exceed the recommended dose.




Some bleeding is normal after dental implant surgery. Patients should anticipate seeing a small amount of blood in their saliva for the first day or two following surgery. If bleeding persists beyond this time, or if there is heavy bleeding, contacting a dental surgeon is crucial.


Oral Hygiene


Oral hygiene is essential during the recovery period after getting dental implants. Patients should gently brush their teeth and implant site with a soft-bristled toothbrush twice a day. They should also rinse their mouth with a saltwater solution several times a day to help keep the implant site clean and promote healing.


Dietary Restrictions


After dental implant surgery, patients should avoid hard, crunchy, or sticky foods during the first few days. Soft foods that require little chewing, such as mashed potatoes or scrambled eggs, are ideal during this time. During the initial stages of recovery, refraining from using a straw, smoking, and alcohol is crucial. These behaviors can impede the healing process.


Follow-up Appointments


Patients should schedule a follow-up appointment with their dental surgeon a week after the procedure. During this appointment, the surgeon will check the implant site and ensure it is healing correctly. Additionally, they should mention any worries or queries they may have regarding the healing process.


Long-term Care


After the initial recovery period, patients must care for their dental implants to ensure their longevity. That includes visiting the dentist for routine cleanings, checkups, and regular brushing and flossing. Patients should also avoid biting down on hard objects, such as ice or hard candy, as this can damage the implant.




Recovering from dental implant surgery can take time. Following the recommended aftercare instructions will ensure a successful outcome. The steps discussed above can help ensure proper healing and the long-term success of the dental implant.

For more on dental implant surgery, visit Glacier Dental at our Anchorage, Alaska, offices. Call (907) 222-6000 to schedule an appointment today.

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