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Getting Dental Implant Surgery? Here’s What to Expect

7th September 2021

dental implant procedure

Dental Implant Surgery: What to Expect, Complications & Procedure

Here at the Gentle Dental in East Molesey, we have been fitting dental implants for many years.

Dr Rifai and his team of implantologists know from experience that many patients are not so worried about the implant surgery itself, but rather what they should expect afterwards.

With this in mind, we thought it would be best to share an honest insight from our dentists of what you could possibly face after surgery, whether it’s immediately, or a few weeks after.

Book your consultation.

Everything you need to know about dental implant surgery

Jump to:

Dental implant surgery

dental implant surgeryYou might have already read multiple stories about the dental implant process, the nature of the procedure and the length of the recovery process.

But if you feel apprehensive, please relax.

Placing dental implants might actually be easier than you think – plus, it’s one of the best treatments to replace missing teeth (there’s nothing stronger).

10,000 people in the UK received dental implants last year – most commenting on a relatively pain-free experience.

The clear skills and experience of the dental team will play a huge part in your implant surgery, which can make all the difference when it comes to a safe and swift recovery.

Whilst the procedure, by no means, is simple – you’ll find in the hands of an experienced restorative dentist, like the ones you’ll meet here at the Gentle Dental, that you’ll be in safe hands.

What to expect

Tips from a dentist:

Immediately (up to 24 hours):

Patients can expect to feel a little drowsy in the first few hours after surgery, this is often because they are still under the influence of anaesthesia.

Therefore, it’s recommended that you do not try to drive home, but rather ask a friend or relative to take you.

Blood may come from the implant site, this is perfectly normal and to be expected. We put on gauze sponges to soak in any blood present, but also to protect you too.

2-4 hours following surgery, the gauzes can come off and patients can have something to eat (soft foods/soup is ideal so long as it’s hot).

Patients can expect to feel some discomfort as the anaesthesia wears off – this is usually managed easily, however, with over the counter medications.

A few days after:

Up to three days after surgery, you can expect to see some slight facial swelling and bruising – again, this is completely normal and is nature’s way of recovery.

Patients can use cold compresses on the outside of the mouth to bring out any swelling and from here, can alternate between hot and cold compresses to reduce and ease the swelling further.

Soft foods such as soup, pasta and fish should still be consumed.

Up to one week after:

Facial swelling should have disappeared by now and you should notice things go back to normal. However, you should still avoid any strenuous exercise and bending.

You can slowly start to re-introduce different kinds of foods back into your diet, however, you still might want to avoid crunchy foods like apples, raw vegetables and even steak.

Light exercise can be undertaken, but heavy cardio-based activities like running should be avoided.

Two weeks later:

By this point, your implant should be healing really well and you should be back to your normal activities.

You can expect to use usually 3-4 weeks after surgery just to make sure everything is healing as we want it to.

What you need to know beforehand

  1. It takes time for your jawbone to heal and fuse with the implant
  2. Dental implants are not one-step processes
  3. The cost of the entire process (see our fees)
  4. You will not leave the office without a tooth (temporary teeth)
  5. Stock your fridge with soft foods
  6. High sugar intakes can slow the healing process (soups and smoothies are the best)
  7. You will need to stop at the pharmacy to pick up prescribed doses of antibiotics to prevent infection
  8. Take the day off on the day of surgery
  9. There is no exact time frame for how long the procedure takes – everyone heals differently
  10. Just because someone you know needed a bone graft or sinus lift, does not mean you will

happy implant patient fake teeth scaled

Procedure steps

The implant process:

  1. The dentist will drill a hole into your jawbone (this feels similar to having a cavity drilled)
  2. The implant will be inserted into your jawbone serving as the artificial tooth root
  3. If there is insufficient bone is present, artificial bone materials will be placed before the implant – many patients do not even realise that it’s happened
  4. The abutment will be placed, and from here, we will have to wait for the jawbone to fuse with the implant and heals (osseointegration). This process can take a few months. Only in some instances like Teeth in a Day can the abutment and implant be placed at the same time.
  5. After the period of healing is over, you will be invited back into our office to have the permanent crown attached to the abutment – and that’s it, you’re all done.

Possible complications


It is very rarely that an implant fails. One of the main reasons this can happen is when the implant does not fuse properly with the jawbone, running the risk it becomes mobile.

This can occur if there is insufficient bone volume or density in the jawbone, or when the implant is overloaded.

However, we try to ease our patients on this fact, as we always check your jawbone density before surgery and if you are a suitable candidate for the procedure.

Highly-rated implantologists

The Gentle Dental for numerous years has been one of the leading implant clinics in London and Surrey.
That’s because our specialist implantologists, like Dr Rifai, have extensive knowledge in the field and often work on complex cases that other local dental surgeries cannot take on.

Why choose us for dental implants? We have a 98.2% success rate across thousands of implants placed, and can often make miracles happen when other dentists say ‘no’.

Book your consultation.

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