Dental implants can effectively replace lost or damaged teeth, though many patients have concerns about the procedure. If you’re considering dental implants, you may be wondering how painful dental implants are. Everyone has different tolerances for pain and discomfort, and knowing what to expect can help you make an informed decision.
How Painful Are Dental Implants?
Getting dental implants requires a surgical procedure, so the process is not without some pain and discomfort. Since everyone experiences pain a bit differently—and since the process can vary somewhat between patients—it can be difficult to answer this question definitively. However, we can make a few comparisons that may be able to help.
How Painful is Dental Implant Surgery?
There are a few important steps to get dental implants. The first step to getting dental implants is completely painless; a consultation. You and your dentist or oral surgeon will discuss dental implants, and whether or not this will be a good option for you. Before you can get dental implants, your teeth and gums must be healthy. If you have tooth decay or an infection, this will need to be resolved first.
After a consultation, you’ll be able to schedule surgery to get your dental implant. This is the step that concerns most patients. However, dental implant surgery is considered a minor surgery, and is no more painful than any other minor surgery. You will be under anesthesia, so you won’t feel anything during the surgery itself. This process is similar to getting wisdom teeth surgically removed. The level of pain that you experience after dental implants will be comparable to other minor surgeries. This procedure takes a few hours, and you will be able to go home afterwards.
The Healing Process
The dental implant will be placed in the jawbone to keep it secure, so your jaw, gums, and cheeks will be swollen and sore for a few weeks. The pain or discomfort you feel will be most significant immediately after the procedure, and will subside as your body heals in the following days. Giving yourself plenty of time to rest and heal will help to reduce the pain you feel. It’s also important to pay close attention to the recommendations your dentist or oral surgeon gives you. You will be instructed to avoid physical activity for a set time period, eat and drink only soft foods, and take care of the surgical area. Following these instructions will help you heal faster and avoid unnecessary pain or discomfort.
The treatments you receive to reduce pain and discomfort after surgery will vary from person to person. You may receive a small dose of prescription pain medication for the first few days after the surgery. However, prescription pain medication are highly addictive narcotics, affecting over 10 million Americans in 2019 alone, and it is vital not to use more pain medication than necessary. After the first few days of healing, you should be able to switch to non-narcotic pain relievers, such as ibuprofen (Advil® and Motrin®) or naproxen sodium (Aleve®).
There are other measures that you can take to help reduce pain and discomfort after dental implants. Take care not to over exert yourself; your body needs time to heal and rest. Don’t take part in any sports or other activities where you could be hit or struck in the mouth. You might use ice or ice packs to reduce swelling and pain. You might use meditation, soft music, or other calming activities to reduce your anxiety about the pain. Keep in mind that some pain and discomfort is normal; this is a sign that your body is healing
Should I Get Dental Implants?
Thousands of people have successfully replaced missing teeth with dental implants. This is a simple procedure with few risks. If you are concerned about the pain about dental implants, remember that this pain is only temporary, and not severe. Getting dental implants will help to prevent bone loss that can occur when teeth are missing, and also help to prevent the pain and discomfort of exposed gums.
If you are wondering if dental implants are right for you, make an appointment with your dentist and get more information.