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What to Expect after Dental Implants Placement


Initial recovery after dental implants surgery typically takes about a week and involves mild discomfort. However, full healing of your implants will require at least three to six months. While every patient’s recovery experience will differ, there are certain commonalities which can help you prepare for the process. ​ 

Dr. Art Carpenter performs all stages of implant treatment at our office in Kenilworth, IL. He can give you specific instructions for your dental implants recovery process. The best way to smooth your recovery and ensure your implants fuse properly is to follow all of Dr. Carpenter’s post-operative instructions. 

Older woman sitting in dentist's chair and smiling into handheld mirror
While the recovery process is long, the results of your dental implants surgery will leave you with a functional, beautiful smile. 

Immediately after Surgery

If you receive sedation during your dental implant surgery, you may feel groggy or sleepy, so someone will need to drive you home. Dr. Carpenter will likely place gauze packs over the treated area. Bite down gently but firmly on the gauze for the first hour to encourage clotting. If you are still actively bleeding, replace the gauze as necessary until bleeding stops. 

You should take it easy for at least the first 24 hours after surgery. Get lots of rest and avoid bending, lifting, and strenuous activities, as these can increase bleeding, swelling, and pain. You can brush your teeth, but be gentle around the surgical site. After the first 24 hours, you can begin using saltwater rinses to help maintain your oral hygiene. 

The Next Few Days

The first two days after dental implants surgery are often the most uncomfortable for patients. You will likely experience some swelling and bruising. You may have a sore throat or stiff jaw muscles, as well. Minor bleeding is common during the first 24 to 48 hours and you may notice the surgical area oozing.

However, most of these symptoms should begin to resolve by the third day after your procedure. Avoiding exercise or other strenuous activities for at least three to four days after surgery will help these effects clear up more quickly. 

Throughout Your Recovery

Maintaining your oral health is a crucial part of your recovery process. Continue to use saltwater rinses two to three times a day for a week or so after your surgery. Some discomfort may persist after the initial healing period, but most patients can manage pain using over-the-counter medications. It is also important not to smoke during your recovery.

Discomfort, swelling, bruising, and minor bleeding are all normal parts of the healing process.

For the first few days, you may want to restrict your diet to liquid or pureed foods. As your implant heals, you can progress to more solid foods, depending on your comfort. Avoid foods which can become lodged in the surgical areas, such as:

  • Rice
  • Nuts
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Popcorn

Our team will continue to provide support throughout your healing process. Dr. Carpenter typically schedules a follow-up appointment with implant placement patients about three weeks after the procedure. You will also need to attend periodic check-ups so we can monitor your implants and determine when they have healed sufficiently to place your restoration. 

When to Contact Our Office

You should notify our office if:

  • Bleeding persists beyond the first few days or becomes severe
  • You develop a fever
  • You cannot control pain with provided medication
  • Symptoms worsen significantly

However, discomfort, swelling, bruising, and minor bleeding are all normal parts of the healing process. Patients should be prepared for these side effects in the months after their surgery.

Find Out More

Every patient’s recovery experience will be different. You can help ensure a smooth recovery process by carefully following all post-operative instructions and attending your check-ups with Dr. Carpenter. For more information about recovery after dental implant placement, contact our office online or call (847) 251-5004 today. 

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We have been coming to Dr. Carpenter for several years now after seeing dentists that lacked good patient relationships. Dr. Carpenter is patient with those who fear going to the dentist (that's me), explains what needs to be done and provides different options for treatment. Worth the trek from the city!

Kelly B.

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Kenilworth Office

450 Green Bay Rd
Ste A
Kenilworth, IL 60043

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