Dental implants are one of the most effective and long-lasting forms of restoring missing teeth. They provide a strong foundation for permanent or removable replacement teeth that match your natural teeth. However, because this surgery entails implanting an artificial tooth root into the jawbone, many individuals are concerned about how much pain they will experience and how long it will last.
Dental implants are not the same as dental bridges and dentures. While they both serve the same purpose of filling a gap, an implant requires surgery and recovery. Therefore, it’s crucial to understand what the procedure entails to know what level of pain to expect.
While the surgery should not involve any pain as the mouth will be numbed, individuals will often feel some pain after the numbness wears off. As such, you will usually experience mild discomfort for up to two weeks or less after the procedure.
Preparing for Dental Implant Surgery
The preparation for a teeth implant sometimes involves procedures before the surgery itself. For example, removing a damaged or decaying tooth may be necessary to prepare the area for implantation. Because teeth implants necessitate one or more surgical procedures, you must undergo a complete examination to prepare for the dental implant procedure, which should include the following:
- Initial consultation – You may have dental X-rays, 3D images taken, and models made of the teeth and jaw.
- Review of medical history – It’s important to inform us about any medical conditions and medications you are taking, including over-the-counter medications, supplements, and vitamins. We may prescribe antibiotics before surgery to help avoid infection if you have certain cardiac issues or orthopedic implants.
- Treatment plan – This plan is tailored to your needs and considers factors such as the number of teeth replacements required, the quality of the jawbone, and remaining teeth.
In most cases, the dental implant procedure is rather straightforward. It’s a common medical procedure that involves simply putting the implant in place. However, a bone graft may be required in some situations involving bone loss. When this is the case, bone grafting materials are utilized to provide adequate bone structure for the implant to be placed.
What Happens During the Dental Implant Procedure?
Different steps are involved in the dental implant process at Precision Oral Surgery.
- First, we will create an individualized treatment plan that enables personalized care based on the implant option chosen.
- If any damaged teeth need replacing, we will remove them before the dental implant surgery.
- The root implant is then inserted into the missing tooth’s socket in the jaw bone.
- The jawbone grows around the implant and anchors it firmly in the jaw after six to 12 weeks of healing.
- When placing the abutment, we may sometimes need to perform minor surgery that only involves the gums. Although there may be some bleeding and swelling, the discomfort from the abutment placement is less severe than placing the implant post.
- Once your gums heal, we will create and place your permanent dental crown.
Is Dental Implant Surgery Painful?
Although dental implant surgery is considered major oral surgery, we use general or local anesthetic and dental sedation to ensure that you are comfortable during the procedure. Therefore, you will be completely pain-free while the local anesthetic is still in effect. In addition, your dentist may prescribe over-the-counter painkillers to ensure that you have adequate pain relief once the anesthetic wears off.
Do Dental Implants Hurt After the Procedure?
It’s common to experience mild tooth implant pain right after the procedure. And whether you have implant surgery in one stage (one-day dental implant) or numerous phases, you may experience some minor discomfort, such as:
- Swelling of the gums and face
- Bruising of the skin and gums
- Pain at the implant site
- Minor bleeding
We will prescribe over-the-counter pain medications to alleviate implant-related discomfort. In some cases, post-surgery pain is mild enough to be managed with an over-the-counter pain reliever such as Advil. And you should be able to return to work or your normal activities the next day.
How to Minimize Pain and Discomfort After Dental Implant Surgery?
There are several ways for dental implant patients to reduce pain and speed up the healing process after implant placement surgery. And even though you have to be delicate around the implant site, it’s important to keep up with your regular dental hygiene and follow any post-operative instructions provided by your dentist.
Post-surgery aftercare instructions may include the following:
- Use cold compresses (ice packs) to relieve discomfort and swelling.
- Follow a liquid diet for the first 24 to 48 hours after treatment.
- Rinse with warm salt water regularly to kill germs and aid healing.
- Avoid spicy, crunchy, or hot foods for ten days after surgery.
- Avoid using straws for 24 hours following surgery.
- Using a specially designed brush, such as an interdental brush that slides between teeth, can help clean the nooks and crannies around teeth and metal posts.
- Attend all follow-up appointments with your dentist.
How Long Is the Dental Implant Recovery?
There’s no set recovery time for tooth implants since each person’s unique oral condition will affect the surgery and healing period. However, a dental implant can take six or more months to fuse with your jawbone. In most cases, a single implant will cause less discomfort than a surgery involving multiple implants. And the majority of individuals are pleasantly surprised by how straightforward the surgery is and consider it to be less painful than having a tooth extracted.
Dental implants are a life-changing procedure that will permanently improve your dental health. And while everyone’s recovery is different, most people report little to no pain and would recommend the procedure to friends and family in need of a tooth replacement.