Tempe Dentist, AZ 85283, Family, Cosmetic

Are Dental Implants Painful?

29 Jan, 2021 cosmetic-dentistry, restorations

Senior couple with dental implants.

Getting dental implants is a life-changing experience. People who have lived with missing teeth for years can suddenly smile again. Hearing that you are a candidate for implants can also help you feel better about an extraction. 

The benefits of dental implants are clear. They look and function like natural teeth. Implants are better than dentures for preventing the loss of bone in your jaw. 

While implants are amazing, they do require a surgical procedure. This is where many people start to get worried. Dental anxiety is often centered upon pain. You can rest assured that getting implants shouldn’t hurt anymore than other procedures. In fact, many patients say that any pain that they felt is comparable to other types of dental treatment.

Do Preliminary Procedures Hurt?

Many people need to get implants in stages. Tooth extractions, bone grafts and sinus lifts are the most common procedures to need before you get implants. These are also surgical procedures that come with the potential for pain. You’ll receive similar types of pain relief treatment for any oral surgery that you experience.

How Do Dentists Ease Pain During the Surgery?

Woman on inhalation sedation during dental implant procedure.

There are two main ways that dentists relieve pain. Local anesthesia typically involves your dentist injecting medication into your gums or cheek that eases discomfort. Most people only feel a mild pinch during this part of the procedure. A topical anesthetic is often rubbed on the injection site beforehand to make it even more comfortable. If you’ve ever had a filling or any other major dental work, then you have likely already experienced this form of anesthetic.

Sedation is another option that your dentist can use to relieve pain and anxiety. This type of anesthesia takes several different forms. Nitrous oxide has sedating effects that wear off quickly. Oral sedation involves taking a prescribed medication that helps you relax. Depending upon the level of sedation that you receive, you should remember very little or nothing at all about the procedure. With both local anesthesia and sedation, you might feel some pressure but not serious pain.

What Causes Pain After the Procedure?

Most of the pain associated with dental implants comes after the procedure is over. Even then, the pain should be mild enough to respond to normal relief methods. Some people feel soreness and swelling along their gums. You might also feel some slight discomfort when you eat or put pressure on the implant site. This is normal and usually eases up within the first few days to a week. 

How Do You Treat Pain at Home?

Old woman with mild pain after dental implant procedure.

The pain after your surgery should be mild enough to respond to over-the-counter pain medications. Your dentist might also recommend rinsing with warm salt water after a certain period of time. Sticking to a liquid or soft diet for the first several days is another step that prevents a secondary injury from causing you pain.

What Counts as Abnormal Pain?

Any discomfort that you feel should start to improve a few days after the procedure. By the two week mark, most people no longer have any pain. As a general rule, you’ll want to report any pain that increases beyond the third or fourth day. This is especially important if it is accompanied by other symptoms such as increased redness or swelling. Severe pain after a dental implant could be a sign of an infection or poor healing.

With modern dentistry techniques, there is no reason for anyone to fear getting dental implants. In fact, this procedure is often a huge relief to people who have dealt with tooth pain for years. During your implant consultation, we’ll go over your pain relief options so that you are informed and ready for your new teeth.