4 Things That May Slow Healing After Dental Implant Surgery

2 March 2017
 Categories: Dentist, Articles


While recovery from dental implant surgery is commonly uneventful, there are a number of things that may heighten your risk for delayed healing after your procedure. In addition to not adhering to the dentist's post-procedure instructions, other factors such as pre-existing medical conditions and certain nutritional deficiencies can lead to slowed healing. Here are four things that can complicate healing after undergoing dental implant surgery and what you can do about them:


Cigarette smoking can damage small capillaries in your body, including those in your oral cavity. When capillaries are damaged by the effects of smoking, circulation can be impaired, which means that adequate blood flow may not reach the surgical sites in your mouth to help with optimal healing.

If you smoke, try quitting prior to your dental implant procedure, or at least try cutting down. If you are unable to quit smoking cigarettes on your own, talk to your doctor about effective smoking cessation therapies that will be most appropriate for your individual situation.

These therapies may include nicotine replacement patches and gum, oral medications, biofeedback, and support groups. While quitting smoking may not reverse existing capillary damage, it will help prevent future damage to the capillaries in your mouth so that future dental procedures will heal nicely. 

Poor Vitamin C Intake

If you do not consume adequate amounts of vitamin C, your gum tissue and bones may be slow to heal following your dental implant surgery. Vitamin C helps promote wound healing, and while getting your vitamin C from food sources such as citrus fruits and green leafy vegetables is optimal, supplemental vitamin C may be just as effective.  

While taking vitamin C supplements will help increase your blood levels of vitamin C, they may increase the likelihood for developing gastrointestinal side effects such as diarrhea and heartburn.

Although high doses of vitamin C can help promote healing after dental procedures, taking too much may not be recommended if you have diabetes, bladder problems, or renal insufficiency. Before taking vitamin C supplements, talk to your physician to determine the best dosage that will help promote oral healing without leading to unwanted side effects or adverse reactions. 


Osteoporosis is a degenerative disorder of the bones, and while it typically affects the spine and hips, it can affect all the bones in your body, including those that support your teeth. It is most common in menopausal women whose estrogen levels have declined; however, men are not immune to it. 

If you have osteoporosis and are facing dental implant surgery, talk to your primary physician about ways to improve your bone density and strength. You may enjoy a quicker recovery from your dental implant surgery if your bones are strong and healthy. If you have osteoporosis or brittle bone disease, your doctor may recommend that you take a calcium supplement that is enriched with vitamin D, or if your estrogen stores are very low, hormone replacement therapy may be recommended to help build up your bone density.

Be sure to tell your doctor if you have a personal or family history of breast, ovarian, endometrial, or uterine cancer prior to taking hormone replacement therapy, as it can raise the risk for these types of cancers.


Having diabetes can also slow healing after dental procedures. In addition, having elevated blood glucose levels can also raise the risk for oral candidiasis, fungal infections, and yeast infections after undergoing dental work. If you have diabetes, work with your primary physician to bring your blood sugar levels under control. Take your prescribed insulin or oral anti-glycemic medications, maintain a healthy weight, adhere to your diabetic diet, get plenty of rest, and exercise as recommended by your doctor.

These interventions will help you maintain tight control over your blood sugar levels while maintaining a healthy oral environment so that you will heal promptly after your dental implants surgery.

If you smoke, do not consume enough vitamin C, have osteoporosis, or if you are a diabetic, work with both your physician and dentist to devise an effective treatment plan to help minimize your risk for delayed healing after your implant surgery. Contact a dental office like Family Dentistry Of Woodstock for additional information.