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Santa Clara, CA
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Myths and Facts About the Dental Implant Recovery Process

Myths and Facts About the Dental Implant Recovery Process_Redwood City Dentists

Do you have missing or badly diseased teeth? Is it hurting your confidence? Well, getting a dental implant is a great option for replacing missing or damaged teeth. But do you know about the recovery process and the myths associated? Well, we are here to help.

What are Dental Implants?

One of the most comfortable and stable restorative options for missing teeth, implants come closest to your natural teeth, in terms of functionality and appearance.

Dental implants surgery is typically a multi-stage procedure that consists of the following steps:

Consultation – Your dentist will schedule a consultation with you to go over your requirements, your dental health, treatment plan, financial details, and what to expect during the treatment. At this point, your dentist may take teeth & jaw impressions and send a prescription for the crown and/or bridge making to a dental laboratory, based on your need.

Extraction & Grafting – If your teeth are diseased, you will need to have them extracted before the implant can be inserted. Additionally, if your jawbone is not healthy enough for the implant to adhere to, you may need bone grafting to create an adequate bone foundation for successful dental implant surgery. Remember not everybody needs extraction and grafting but if you do, the recovery process and the dental implants timeline maybe longer.

Generally speaking, if you need a bone graft, you may require several months between the grafting and the implant surgery. Depending on the complexity of work, recovery from extractions and bone graft procedures can take several days to several weeks. Follow the instructions provided by your dentist to ensure a quick recovery.

Dental Implants Surgery – The next step in the process is the installation of a dental implant anchor, made of titanium or other suitable metal, into the jawbone below the gumline.

The gum tissues are then secured over the implant and the implant is left to fuse with the jawbone – a process known as osseointegration. During this process, there may be some swelling and tenderness for a few days. Your dentist may prescribe pain medication, cold compresses, and a diet restricted to soft & cold foods to help you with the recovery process – more information on the implant surgery recovery process can be found below.

Placement of the Abutment – The next step involves the addition of an abutment, which is a post that connects the implants inserted in Step 1 to the replacement tooth (Step 3). After this procedure, the gum is allowed to heal. In case you choose a removable denture for aesthetic purposes, it can be placed over the gap caused by the missing tooth, until a permanent tooth is attached to the implant.

Placement of the Crown – Once the healing is complete, the third and final step involves the placement of the dental crown on the artificial post. This completes the dental implant procedure.

Dental Implants Recovery Process

Total recovery after a dental implant procedure varies from case to case. The recovery time could depend on factors such as the number of teeth involved, requirement for grafting, gum health, and patient history.

Generally speaking, single-tooth implant patients with healthy bones will experience minimal discomfort and will recover in no time. The more complex your procedure – the more the number of teeth extracted and implanted as well as the need for bone grafting to allow for implants – the longer the recovery.

Based on the complexity of the case, patients may experience swelling and even some discomfort post-surgery. However, they go away with proper care.

Whether your dental implant procedure was completed in one stage or multiple stages, the first 24 hours after dental surgery, you may experience swelling, bleeding, and some pain. Over-the-counter and prescription-strength medication may be used to effectively control the pain. Cold compresses and ice packs can help with the swelling.

After the initial 24 hours have passed, you can continue to take pain medication and ice packs the next few days, as needed.

One of the most important parts of the post-surgery recovery process is the diet. Patients are advised to opt for a soft diet immediately after the surgery. In case of basic dental implant placements, the patient may take from a week to 10 days to return to a normal diet. However, in some complicated cases, the patients are advised to stick to a soft diet for about six weeks after the procedure.

In addition, make sure you follow up with your dentist to ensure that you are healing properly.

While the recovery is generally smooth, there are several myths associated and this article will debunk them for you.

Myth 1: You won’t be able to brush your teeth for a week after a dental implant surgery

This is not true.

Fact: While it is very important that you avoid brushing the surgical site for the first 48 hours following the dental implant procedure, you should brush other teeth not involved in the surgery gently the same evening. You should be very careful and maintain good oral hygiene while recovering. This will involve rinsing regularly with a warm, salt water rinse, about four to five times a day, after meals.

Tip: The first 24 hours are very critical. Be careful to rinse with a warm saltwater solution and use a prescribed oral rinse. Take prescribed medications as directed.

Myth 2: You can get new teeth in a day and get back to routine right after

There’s a lot of overzealous advertising that makes people believe that they could get implants in a single session and they can get back to a normal routine right after.

Fact: In some instances, dental implants can be placed in a single sitting. Dentists can extract, implant, and place a temporary replacement tooth in the same setting. Advances in technology allow for the implants to be placed in such a way that they do not move at all during the healing process. This is absolutely critical for the implant procedure to be successful as the implant must integrate with the bone and even the slightest shift can lead to complications.

Same-day implant patients are strongly advised to comply with dietary recommendations for up to six weeks after surgery to avoid the movement of implants that can result in treatment failure.

Tip: If you are opting for same-day implants, eat soft foods and avoid crunchy and chewy foods, such as crusty bread, apples, ice cubes, carrots, steaks, and other chewy meats, during the osseointegration process.

Myth 3: Dental Implants recovery period is really long & painful

While the process of the implant fusing with the jawbone takes two to six months, the recovery period may last anywhere from a few days to several weeks, based on the complexity of your case.

Fact: Multiple extractions and implantations along with bone grafting extend the recovery period. However, single tooth implants with no bone grafting can cut the recovery period to only a few days. Same-day implants, as stated above, can also extend the period of dietary restrictions.

As far as pain is concerned, technological advancements have made dental implants surgery into a minimally invasive procedure. Your Palo Alto dentist will perform the surgery under local anesthesia and provide you with pain medications to help you tide over the recovery process. In fact, most patients report that implant surgery is less painful than tooth extractions.

Tip: Follow post-surgery instructions from your dentist to expedite the recovery process. In particular, take your prescribed medications, follow dietary restrictions, watch out for any symptoms of infection, such as fever, and follow up with your dentist to ensure you are recovering as expected.


While we have debunked some common dental implants recovery myths for you, several assumptions and myths abound, especially those related to implant costs, success rate, and risks. So if you’re thinking about implants, keep in mind to associate with the best! Ask as many questions as you have, and get your doubts cleared, and don’t fall for assumptions.

Contact us if you’re looking for a good cosmetic dentist to get dental implants in Palo Alto.

Article resources:
Information in this article has been gathered from multiple public health sources, including:

How Good Oral Health Can Help You Live a Longer and Healthier Life

How Good Oral Health Can Help You Live a Longer and Healthier Life_Palo Alto Dentists

World Oral Health Day (WOHD) is on March 20th, and it is time to “Be Proud of Your Mouth,” since good oral health can help you live a healthier, longer life.

Many people don’t appreciate just how vital their dental health is. However, it goes without saying, poor oral hygiene impacts more than just your teeth. It can impact the rest of your body, ultimately leading to life-threatening health issues.

“Show me your teeth, and I will tell you who you are,” said preeminent 18th -century scientist George Cuvier. Beyond doubt, the gentleman was onto something.


How is oral health connected? 

Our mouths are packed with millions of bacteria, most of them harmless. Daily flossing and brushing keep the bacteria levels under control. However, when proper hygiene is lacking, serious problems can arise.

The bacteria multiply and combine with sugar present in the food we take to create acids. These acids attack the teeth causing gum disease, periodontitis, tooth decay, and cavity, leading to infections that travel to other parts of the body via the respiratory system and digestive tract.

Essentially, that is how dental health impacts your general health. Whenever you have an oral health issue, there is a considerable risk that it will spread into your bloodstream and impact the rest of your body.

Let’s explore some health conditions caused or linked to poor dental health.


Respiratory infections 

The significance of oral health can be demonstrated in a study published in the Journal of Medicine and Life, which established a link between gum disease and pulmonary infections like pneumonia and bronchitis.

As we have mentioned above, if the bacteria buildup in the mouth is not controlled, it can travel via the respiratory tract and reach the lungs. These bacteria can eventually cause all forms of sinus infections or other respiratory diseases like pneumonia.

Note: This issue is mostly life-threatening for people with weak immune systems and the elderly.


Cardiovascular disease and stroke 

If your gums are crammed with bacteria-filled plaque, they’ll continually become inflamed and irritated, which leads to periodontal infections and other related oral problems. This irritation and inflammation can lead to clogging of the blood vessels, contributing to cardiovascular diseases like stroke, hypertension, and heart attack. Even worse, the heart’s inner lining may also get inflamed and infected, a condition known as endocarditis.



Many people are aware that diabetic patients are highly likely to develop gum disease. However, studies such as one the EHWA Women’s University carried out have revealed that gum disease can directly contribute to the worsening of diabetes.

Additionally, gum diseases such as periodontitis and gingivitis affect blood glucose control, which may contribute to the adverse effects felt by diabetic persons. What’s more, people with diabetes usually have a lower resistance to infections, including those brought about by gum disease.

As you might have guessed, an endless cycle of worsening diabetes and gum disease can concurrently form if the issue is not addressed. This is another simple way to demonstrate how dental health impacts overall health.


Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA). 

The connection between oral diseases and RA is that both are aggregated by inflammation. Apparently, the bacteria from gingivitis can spread all over the body and cause joint inflammation in people who are vulnerable to arthritis and other inflammatory ailments. In fact, research shows that you are four times more likely to develop RA if you have gum disease.


Can cause pregnancy complication 

Everyone needs to practice good oral hygiene. However, proper dental care is exceedingly critical for expecting mothers. The reason being, hormonal imbalances that occur during pregnancy can leave an expectant mother more susceptible to oral infections.

According to a study by the  Society for General Microbiology, infectious bacteria from the mouth can travel in a mother’s blood and be passed on to her unborn child. Usually, this can increase the likelihood of low birth weights and preterm births. To top it off, the mother might also experience an early onset of contractions as a result.


Summing it up: Schedule regular checkups with Palo Alto dentists near you

As you can see, good oral health can directly impact your overall health and longevity. That is why you should take care of your mouth, especially if you suffer from health issues, such as immune disorders, diabetes, and cardiovascular diseases.

Fortunately, scheduling regular checkups with the best family dentist in Palo Alto can help prevent common dental health risks and keep your hygiene on track. Let’s join hands and celebrate this year’s World Oral Health Day in style!


(Disclaimer: We routinely draw upon public health resources to inform our write-ups. Information in this article has been gathered from multiple public health sources, including: