There are many variables a doctor needs to consider when performing dental implant surgery. It’s a complex process that is still pretty new, so there isn’t just one way to complete the process. How a doctor organizes the process will have a big impact on how long it takes for the client to heal and get back to normal.

The procedure starts with a titanium root device that mimics a real, live tooth root. Once this is in place, replacement teeth or other cosmetic enhancements are placed on the root to complete the effect. This all seems simple enough, but where dental implant surgery gets complicated is how the doctor handles the recovery periods.

Once the area is cleared for the metal root, some doctors elect to send the patient home to heal. This may take days, or months, and it’s up to the doctor to decide. Next, the implant itself is set in the patient’s jawbone. At this point, many practitioners go ahead and fix the cosmetic enhancements also, but some prefer to give the client several more weeks to recover. Once the replacement is set up and the process completed, osseointegration starts. This is when the body grows bone over the root and treats the device like a normal part of the body. This normally takes four to six months. Once it’s finished, most people are home free.

Some people may be bothered by the fact that there’s little consensus in ideal recovery periods, but keep in mind that not everyone handles the procedure the same way. Also, the early returns on research suggest that there isn’t any increased chance of complications for shortened recovery periods.