Many people who get dental implants worry about the pain associated with the surgery. Most dental procedures do include some discomfort during and after surgery, and implant surgery is no exception.
Your pain after dental implant is placed, will stem from removing your teeth, cutting into gums, drilling your jawbone, and then inserting the post.
However, the better your chosen dentist is, the less your discomfort will be.
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During the procedure you will be under local anesthesia, so you won’t feel any pain there. There are also sedative options that can put you to sleep if you think the sounds, sights, or smells will bother you.
That will be under the discretion of your dentist and will cost a little more.
Once you are no longer numb, you will start to feel some ache. It won’t be intense and intolerable, but rather will feel like a nuisance.
Many patients admit that they did expect more pain than there really was and compare it to a simple root canal or tooth extraction.
Of course, depending on the location where the posts will be inserted in your upper or lower jaw, you might feel discomfort in your cheeks, chin, gums, or even in your nose or eyes.
But overall, most patients felt the results were worth the moderate pain.
Do dental implants hurt?
During the procedure, you are likely to feel nothing, but there may be some discomfort.
Everything that will be touched, including your gums and jaw, will be completely numb.
You might see, hear, or feel the tools, which can lead you to “imagine” an unpleasant feeling.
If you have a phobia of any dental procedure, feel free to talk about it to your dentist who will give you sedatives to help you relax and get through the whole procedure.
General anesthesia (which is injected or inhaled as “laughing gas”) can help as well.
In fact, even though this implant procedure and the drilling thing looks a bit scary, it won’t be as painful as you imagine.
If you ask the same question to patients who underwent this surgery, you will probably get the same answer: implants don’t hurt.
Of if they had to rate the intensity of discomfort from 1 to 10 (10 being the level of agony or torture), they would give it a 2-3.
Factors That Influence the Intensity of Discomfort
Of course, once the anesthesia effect wears off, you will feel some soreness, that is perfectly normal.
Your dental post op pain will be directly linked to how complex your situation was or how long the surgery took.
If you have to get a bone graft or a sinus lift done before the surgery, then you will likely experience more pain than if you just had a straightforward implant.
Beside the soreness, keep in mind that you will also experience some other normal side effects like bleeding, swelling, and bruising to the gum.
How to Prevent or Relieve it
There are many ways to minimize any side effects from your surgery before, during and after your surgery:
- Find a dentist that has the experience and training to do the procedure correctly and with a gentle hand. the more experienced your dental professional is, the quicker he or she will be, the less traumatic for your mouth tissues it will be.
- Follow any post-surgery instructions carefully.
- Use an ice pack or frozen vegetables to reduce your swelling. Make sure you wrap it to prevent any skin irritation. Frozen peas work best.
- Take the painkillers that are recommended to help with the post operative pain. Usually the suggestion is 600mg of ibuprofen every 8 hours. If you experience pain still, tell your dentist, and he or she may give you prescription pills.
- Use the warm salt-water recipe to bathe your gums – don’t swish or gargle!
- Proper oral hygiene to help keep your mouth clean and avoid infection
- Give your self plenty of rest to let your body heal.
- Avoid foods that could cause irritation or too much pressure. Stick with cold and soft foods like smoothies, ice cream, and yogurt for a few days.
- If the pain gets too much to handle, do not hesitate to contact your dentist, it could be a sign that something is wrong.
Other than that, almost everything should be gone in about two weeks.
Swelling should go down by about five days post op and your pain should be gone completely around 10 days.
Complications Causing Additional Discomfort
Other than the procedure and holding your jaw open for so long, there are a few other things that can cause additional discomfort following your surgery:
- Loose Implant: If you had insufficient bone volume, then any excess pressure or force can make it loose. In most cases, it will have to be removed.
- Loose Cap: There is a small screw at the top of the implant to hold it. If this becomes loose, the cap will need to be removed, cleaned, and then fitted again.
- Nerve Damage: If a post or the drilling gets too close to your nerve, it can be damaged. Your artificial tooth will have to be removed as soon as possible and may get redone once it is safe to.
- Bone Burn: The drill that your dentist uses can be hot. In rare cases, it can damage your bone that surrounds the post. If that happens, both the prosthetic and the burnt bone must be removed.
- Infection: Improper oral hygiene can lead to infections that need to be treated with antibiotics.
- Rejection: Sometimes your body will reject the implant. If that is the case, they will likely try another material or an alternative dental solution.
After 5-10 days, if you have any abnormal irritation, infection, or swelling, it is important to seek medical help as quickly as possible to save your implant.
Your dentist will check the implant and the surrounding tissue before deciding if it can be fixed or if it needs to be removed. That is why it is important not to let the issue worsen once you notice it. Remember that the quicker you contact your dentist, the more chances you have to keep the implant.
Rest, painkillers, ice packs with some ice cream and DVDs are the only thing you need to help you to minimize the discomfort and problems you can experience after surgery.
Your great smile will be worth the little bit of soreness and tenderness that you went through!