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Dental Implant Pain and Recovery: What to Expect

Scott General Dentistry

Getting a dental implant can be a big relief for dental health problems, but there will be some discomfort along the way. The surgery requires significant time to heal, and you’ll need a reliable way to manage the pain while you recover. Here is what you can expect during your dental implant recovery.

Varies Based on Complexity

There will be some discomfort after having a dental implant placed. However, the amount and method of pain management that you need varies based on the complexity of the procedure. A simple implant placement can heal in a few months, and may require relatively little pain management. Medications are usually used for the first day or two and holistic methods can be used afterward. A more complex process, including a preliminary bone graft, will require more extensive and longer-lasting pain management. It also depends on your pain tolerance. Most people are living a normal life within hours or days of having an implant placed.

24 to 48 Hours Until Normal Activities

The initial recovery from having an implant placed lasts 24-48 hours. During this time, you will likely need some form of OTC (over the counter) medication to address the pain. However, many people do not need prolonged medications. In fact, most people are back to work and their normal lives by the second day after the surgery. The pain has all but disappeared at this point, and temporary holistic remedies can become the standard method of pain management.

Avoid Hot Drinks and Straws

If you want to stay comfortable and avoid damage during that initial recovery period, avoid hot drinks and straws. The surgery will leave your mouth sensitive to temperatures. Hot drinks will irritate the implant site and be painful to deal with. Likewise, straws can be irritating and damage the implant site. Using a straw creates a lot of pressure while contorting the mouth into a new shape. This can dislodge the implant or be painful since it puts a lot of pressure on the nerves around the implant. Cold drinks can have a similar effect. During recovery, focus on drinking anything that is not too hot or too cold unless you are trying to soothe your discomfort with a cold drink.  Be especially aware of this until the anesthesia wears off on the day of your surgery.

Possible Dietary Limitations for 4 to 6 Weeks

During your recovery, you may have dietary limitations for 4 to six weeks, depending on the complexity of the implant placement. For easier placements that are straightforward, your diet will not have to change much.  For more complex placements where extra bone or soft tissue grafting is necessary, you may need to avoid foods that are too hard for several weeks after the procedure because you do not want to disturb the area.


If you are having dental health problems, Holzinger Periodontics & Implant Dentistry can help you find the right solution, like a dental implant. Holzinger Periodontics & Implant Dentistry is a father-daughter practice serving patients in Middletown and New Britain, CT. Contact us today at 860-347-8457 (Middletown) or 860-224-0433 (New Britain) to schedule your first appointment.