Is your dental implant surgery around the corner? How exciting. You are probably looking forward to your new smile and the positive impact it will have on your confidence daily.

You may have many questions about the implant surgery process and recovery. Questions like, how soon after can you eat? When can your normal activities resume? What is the recovery process like?

It’s understandable to have all kinds of questions before any procedure. As with any type of surgery, healing will not be particularly fun, but with a Davis County dentist by your side, you’ll be guided through the dental implant process, and will get through it smoothly.

Ins and Outs of Dental Implant Surgery


Healing Time

Dental implants are an excellent solution for missing teeth and can last a lifetime. However, the healing process can differ from patient to patient. The exact healing time will depend on the type of treatment you receive and your mouth’s response to healing. We are all a little bit different, and our bodies all react differently. Dental implant surgery is not usually a one-day process. The procedure can take anywhere from 3-12 months to complete depending on:

  • If you need extractions
  • The amount of implants you’ll receive
  • Your general health and any medications you take
  • Your ability to follow post-op instructions from your dentist
  • Your age
  • The placement of your implants
  • Whether you get titanium or ceramic implants

One of the best things you can do for yourself before your surgery is ask your dentist for written after-care instructions. Having this on hand for after the procedure will help prepare you for a successful recovery. Don’t get relaxed on after-care instructions to help avoid implant failures at all costs. Dental implants are a permanent solution, but they require maintenance and care.

Way before undergoing surgery, you and your dentist will discuss all options to decide if dental implants are the right choice for you.

Consultation and Assessment

Before undergoing the dental implant process, you’ll have an initial consultation and surgical assessment to determine if you’re a good candidate for dental implants. Sometimes, underlying medical conditions could make you ineligible for implant surgery.

During your assessment, your Utah dentist will thoroughly review your medical history, ask you about any and all medications you’re currently taking, and give you an oral exam. Your dentist will likely take an x-ray to provide information about your jaw’s bone density, depth, and mass. It’s essential to cover all the bases and ensure everything is in prime condition for dental implants. Your dentist will also ask you a few questions about your lifestyle and anything that may hinder healing, such as tobacco or smoking use.

Conditions to Manage Before Dental Implant Surgery

Not everyone is a good candidate for dental implants. Some conditions may pose concerns that aren’t worth the risk. That doesn’t necessarily mean you can never get dental implants, but you may need to address other conditions first. Here are some factors that could put off your dental implant surgery:

  • Poor oral hygiene. Your dentist may decide against surgery if you have receding or inflamed gums or have another problem that would make it difficult for your gums to heal around the implant and potentially cause a failure.
  • Leukemia or other cancers. Cancer causes a weakened immune system, which increases your chance of infection. Cancers can also cause a higher rate of bone loss, which creates more risks for implant surgery.
  • Smoking and poor nutrition: Malnourishment, unhealthy eating habits, and excessive smoking or alcohol use can all increase the likelihood of surgery complications.
  • High blood pressure or a history of heart disease: Heart diseases in your family line or hypertension can make you more susceptible to infection, which could impact the success of your dental implant surgery.
  • Anemia: Patients with anemia could be at a higher risk of excessive bleeding and infection, both of which are severe complications during and post-dental implant surgery.
  • Bone loss: If you don’t have adequate bone to place implants, the surgery won’t be successful.
  • Bruxism (teeth grinding): If you’re a big teeth grinder, your dentist may encourage you to kick the habit to the curb before getting implants because constant grinding can damage the implants and surrounding bone.
  • Liver disease: a history of liver disease can be a considerable risk factor because it can mean you have problems with blood clotting, and your body may have a more challenging time with bacteria, both of which are crucial in the recovery process post-dental implant surgery.
  • Taking blood thinners: Taking blood thinners can prevent blood clots that are necessary during post-surgery healing. Common blood thinner medications include: warfarin (Coumadin), clopidogrel (Plavix), aspirin, and ibuprofen (Advil).

It is essential for your Davis County cosmetic dentistry team to know about any of these conditions because of the increased risks they may pose. Be honest about your condition for your safety, and your dentist can make a proper treatment plan for you.

Types of Dental Implants

1. Single Tooth Implant

Your dentist will place a single implant in your jawbone and then attach a dental crown to the implant. This new tooth has functions and looks like a natural tooth, allowing you to talk, eat, and smile confidently.

A single-tooth implant is straightforward and simple and has a relatively short healing period compared to a full mouth of implants. A single-tooth implant is excellent for those missing one or more teeth.

2. Full Mouth Implants

Full-mouth implants mean your dentist will replace all your teeth in either the upper arch, lower arch, or both. The number will depend on the specific case. Your dentist will perform surgery by strategically placing implants to support a complete set of replacement teeth. This is lengthier and much more complex than a single tooth implant surgery.

Post-Op Healing

You will typically need about two weeks to heal after the placement of your implant. After that, you will also need to wait three to six months for the next phase of the process. The reason for that long wait period is to let the dental implant fuse with the jawbone.

You will then return to your Utah dentist for the second part of your surgery. The gums will be reopened to attach the abutment to your implant. Healing from this minor procedure takes between 3 days to two weeks. However, you must wait another six weeks for the tooth to restore. Once everything is healed your dental specialist will continue the procedure by attaching your dental crown to the abutment and you can finally use your tooth implant just like a regular tooth.

Post-Op Bleeding and Swelling

The average bleeding and swelling duration after dental implant surgery is up to 72 hours. Anything longer than that might indicate a problem. Contact your dentist immediately if you notice prolonged bleeding, redness, swelling, or a loose implant.

Dental implant surgery is a long process, but if you diligently follow pre and post-care instructions from your dentist, the whole process will go off without a hitch. Whether you need cosmetic dentistry in Utah or preventative or restorative dental services, we’d love to meet you and develop a dental treatment that works for you.