Dental implant healing stages - how long it really takes

Sadly, most dentists might not tell you how long dental implants take to heal, as they might think it puts you off getting implants in the first place, as we live in a fast-paced, immediate results world.

Dental implant healing stages – how long it takes to recover

It’s not about the speed at which we can place implants but how long it takes to place the final restoration. And unfortunately, the healing process, referred to as osseointegration, is not a process we have much control over or something we should rush. 

Fitting the final restoration, like a dental crown, is not possible to be immediately loaded; all-on-4, a type of dental implant treatment, for example, can cope with that due to the angles at which the implants are placed.


One implant can be placed in an in-chair surgery that takes an hour, and up to four implants can take up most of an afternoon.

In the case of traditional implants, patients should expect to wait between three and six months for their implants to fully fuse with the bone, with delays if they’ve had a bone graft or sinus lift, which might take an additional 4-6 months. Tooth extraction can also delay your implant treatment, taking between 8 and 12 months to complete.

dental implant offer

Healing stages - 4 steps to a full recovery

  • The surgical stage is the first step in the dental implant process, where the implant is inserted into the jawbone. Two weeks later, you’ll be invited into the practice to have your sutures and stitches removed.
  • The osseointegration/healing period is when we wait for the implant to fuse to the bone. It’s the most critical stage of your implant journey, which will prevent the implant from failing and ensure it functions properly. Here, you’ll have to wait 3-6 months and will take a course of antibiotics to reduce the risk of infection.
  • Once the bone cells in the jawbone have grown around the implant and anchored securely, we can invite you back to attach the abutment. The abutment is the screw connecting the crown, bridge or denture to the implant. Then, there’s another break of two or three weeks. This also gives us time to take your impressions and start working on your custom crown, bridge or denture.
  • At last, you’ll receive the final restoration, where we can screw your crown, for example, to your implant, completing the process. An extra appointment might be necessary to adjust your restoration if it feels uncomfortable or fits quite right. This is almost always the case for full-mouth rehabilitation cases.

We will invite you back for a check-up three to six months after your final fitting to see how everything is going.

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Dental implants and pain

Following the implant surgery, it’s normal to experience slight discomfort from swelling and bruising for the next few days, which will be managed with prescription pain medication and over-the-counter pain relief. 

The oral surgeon and implant dentist will also brief you on the symptoms to expect and any alarming ones to act on.

As pain is relative, the amount you experience will depend on your tolerance and overall health. However, do note that many report minimal discomfort rather than significant pain. 

If you’re a particularly nervous patient during the procedure, we provide dental sedation. We can use an IV during the surgery, keeping you conscious but leaving you no memory of the procedure.

During each stage, it’s critical you follow the implant dentists and oral surgeon’s instructions for post-operative care – this will ensure the implant heals properly and avoids complications. If you experience any unusual symptoms, you will need to contact the dentist immediately.

implant surgery photo
partial denture before and after

Typical post-op instructions for a smooth recovery

❌ Avoid strenuous activities that disrupt the healing process or strain the implant site.

❌ Avoid hard, crunchy, sticky foods that put unnecessary pressure on the implant site.

❌ Avoid alcohol for the first 24-48 hours to minimise the risk of bleeding or infection. No smoking either, as this can increase the risk of complications.

✅ Make your medication as the dentist prescribes to manage pain, swelling and infection.

✅ Practice and maintain a good standard of oral hygiene to promote healing and prevent infection. Brushing, flossing and rinsing with mouthwash is encouraged.

✅ You will be permitted to drive, following that you have not opted for dental sedation for your procedure, which will require a responsible adult to take you home.

Find us in East Molesey KT8

  • 1 Spencer Rd, East Molesey Surrey KT8 0DL
  • Get directions.
  • 5 minutes from Hampton Court
Dawn SwansonDawn Swanson
10:27 24 Nov 22
I have been with the Gentle Dental Practice for 8 years, the care and service I have received has always been 5 star. I have recently used their new hygienist Nicky who is great. Looking for a new dentist just contact their very friendly and proffessional team.
George HorseyGeorge Horsey
18:54 15 Nov 22
Dental Impant Surgery:I had my dental implants fitted recently and I am extremely happy with the outcome. Ali and the team have done an amazing job since I lost my 2 front teeth over 6 years ago. I had to wait for the surgery for a long time due to my age and the issues surrounding having implants at a young age.I finally had the surgery 12 weeks ago and had my two new crowns fitted last week. They look absolutely amazing and the whole procedure was way less painful than I ever thought it would be.I would highly recommend getting your implants done at the Gentle Dental Practice, you won't regret it!A massive thank you to everyone at the practice!
Deeban SkandalingamDeeban Skandalingam
12:06 03 Nov 22
Fantastic work on my teeth and I would highly recommend! My teeth turned out better than I had even hoped for. If you are in need of any dental work, you would be doing a great disservice if you didn't speak to this practice first. The staff were extremely friendly, there were text updates and all in all an excellent service from start to finish. If you haven't guessed already, I am thoroughly pleased with The Gentle Dentle. Thank you!
Pippa HarveyPippa Harvey
14:54 26 Oct 22
Like many people, I have an immense fear of dentistry, and dentists, due to previous experiences.I had two broken teeth and one that had been treated incorrectly by an NHS dentist. I had been in daily pain for about 18 months, and had been put on a 6 month waiting list by my NHS dentist.I called gentle dental to explain my problem and they offered me a same day appointment. They were kind, compassionate, understanding, patient and validating. I’m not sure anybody ever feels completely comfortable in the chair, but It’s the closest I’ve ever come!The work needed was carried out, all of the staff were kind and welcoming, and it showed me that the dentist doesn’t have to be a dreaded place!Thank you so, so much gentle dental! I will definitely be returning.
Tilesh PTilesh P
15:45 14 Sep 22
Dental Implants - 3 New Teeth - June 2022I had the most professional and pain free experience when getting my new tooth implants at Gentle Dental. Honestly I put it off for some many years because I just didn't want to go through the pain. But my experience was totally the opposite. Ali and the wonderful girls were there every step of the way. All my questions got answered and I was reassured everything would work out well. And it did. I was worried for no reason.I did think about going abroad to have it done but when you consider the risk factor, time and professional standards - it made no sense to me. I have known Ali for a long time and knew I would be in the best hands and if there were any issues these would could be resolved easily.If you are thinking of having dental implants at Gentle - don't waste any more time. Just book and get it done.Was it painful ? No, uncomfortable for a few days, yes for sure.I just wish I had it done sooner. Thanks guys, love my new teeth 🙂
Edward CrameEdward Crame
13:43 04 Dec 21
Very happy with all aspects of the work they have done. Very clean, professional and well run business.
Lynn HuddartLynn Huddart
12:43 24 Nov 21
Dr Ali Rifai was professional and I am very pleased with the outcome of my Invisalign's. I have been with this practice for many years and would highly recommend. The staff are very friendly and nothing is an issue.
Jonathan PlumbJonathan Plumb
11:52 24 Nov 21
Can't thank this practice enough for all their help. I don't post reviews very often, so when I do, it's because an impression has been left! Dr Ali saw me at short notice to help fix a broken tooth. The nurse (I think her name was Danni) was so helpful and kind, as were the rest of the team. Thank you for being there for me in my hour of need (the same day i asked for an appointment!)
Eva AugustEva August
07:11 06 Nov 21
I’m so happy to find this practice. I suffer from anxiety and high sensitivity to pain. It was very stressful for me going to dentist after years of fear. The team not only make me calm and welcome but I FELL ASLEEP during treatment with Dr Marshall ! So understanding and caring. Thank you!
Marc NevittMarc Nevitt
11:35 11 Oct 21
I have been using this dentist for well over a decade and can honestly say my teeth would be in a far worse situation if wasn’t for the Gentle Dental practice.My most recent visit was for a filling .. barely felt the injection!I would highly recommend this dentist to anyone, but especially if you’re teeth require a high level of care like mine.
Emma BrauerEmma Brauer
08:44 04 Aug 21
This place was recommended to me by family and for a nervous patient the best experience. The reception welcome is cheerful and friendly, beautifully modern area with hot drinks and water on offer.I needed implants, crowns and bridges followed by whitening, so lots of appointments. My dentist Mr Ali Rafai was superb from start to finish, so professional and personable. Throughout the whole process I was cared for wonderfully plus lots of laughs along the way. The constant care during appointments was very comforting, no rushing, and I knew I my needs were Mr Rafai's priority. Plus check up call the next day without fail to make sure everything was going well.Absolutely deserves five stars!
Alan SamuelAlan Samuel
13:30 14 Jul 21
Fantastic experience with Ali. It took 18 months including bone grafting, removing and replacing failed dental implants, invisaline for my bottom teeth which were all over the place and some veneers but now I'm delighted with the outcome.Ali was always very clear about how this wasn't an overnight solution in an honest and forthright manner which gave me confidence that he would deliver results.I was offered several overnight solutions from other dentists locally at a fraction of the cost but when I see how much effort and detail that went into my plan, I know i made the right choice.
Kurt JohnsonKurt Johnson
17:48 14 May 21
I have got no complaints about this Dental Practice. They were all very friendly and accommodating and always professional.My dental treatment was also really good, everything went according to plan and the results are great!I am VERY happy with the outcome and would recommend them anytime!
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