Smiling Woman After Dental Implant Recovery

Dental Implant Discomfort and Recovery: What to Expect

Team Dental Implants

You’ve read all the information about why dental implants are the best replacement option for missing teeth. You know what you need to do to prepare for getting implants and you even know what happens during the procedure––but what about afterwards? In this guide, we’ll go over what you can expect in the days and weeks after dental implant surgery. 


Discomfort During and Immediately After Surgery


Patients rarely experience pain during dental implant surgery. We use anesthesia to numb the areas where we’re working. You may feel pressure and discomfort, but the procedure itself is not painful.

In the hours after the surgery, you may experience bleeding from the surgical sites. We’ll give you gauze packs to bite down on to help control the bleeding; typically, bleeding lasts no more than an hour. Discomfort may begin to set in around this time as the anesthesia wears off. We recommend taking pain relievers as instructed and use cold compresses or ice packs to alleviate swelling. (If you use ice packs, do not apply them for more than 15 minutes at a time.)

You can brush your teeth the day of your surgery, but be gentle and exercise caution as you brush in the areas around the surgical sites. (And it goes without saying––don’t brush where the implants were placed!) You can use saltwater rinses as needed to clean the mouth and promote healing.

Strenuous activities will make pain and swelling worse, so plan on taking it easy; that means bed rest the day of your surgery, then slowly returning to your regular routine over the course of the next few days. Do not exercise for 3-4 days after your surgery. Eat soft warm or cold foods and avoid anything that could get stuck in the surgical sites, like popcorn or nuts. Wait at least 24 hours before using a straw. All of these precautions will help you heal faster.


Discomfort in the Weeks After Getting Dental Implants


Contrary to popular thought, the first day or two after surgery is often uneventful with discomfort actually peaking 48-72 hours after surgery. Discomfort should get better and better each day. The amount of discomfort you experience is based on a lot of factors with some of them being how many implants were placed, where they were placed, and whether there were any complicating factors with your surgery. In most cases there is negligible discomfort, with most patients reporting that they were not at all limited in their activities afterwards.

If you still have pain two weeks after surgery, or if at any point the pain begins to worsen, call our office immediately. You may have an infection that needs treatment.


Long-Term Discomfort After Dental Implants


Dental implants have a 98% success rate. Long-term pain is extremely rare. Typical causes include loose implants, infection, implant rejection, or nerve damage. If your dental implants are causing discomfort in the months after your surgery, it’s important to follow up with us.


Schedule an Appointment at Barkoff Dental


If you have questions about dental implants, contact us to schedule an appointment at our Woodbury, NY office.