When it comes to going to the dentist, there are not many things that worry people as much as pain. Your typical dentist’s office has a lot of needles, drills, and other scary items that most people don’t associate with comfort for one’s mouth.

There are few procedures that are as invasive as dental implants. While you may be a good candidate for dental implant surgery, you might be reticent because of the chances of discomfort or pain you’ll feel.

Worried about the pain that comes with missing teeth? Let’s talk about it.

What does dental implant surgery entail?

Dental implants are done in a two-step manner that spans about six to nine months. Dental implants first start by drilling a hole into your gums and inserting a metal implant abutment into your jaw bone.

The abutment is left to heal so that tissue can grow around it, giving you a little time to get used to your new “mouth.” Then, the second procedure is when the crown is inserted over the abutment.

The crown is what makes your dental implant look like a natural tooth. Once the replacement tooth is in, you may be given antibiotics to reduce the chances of infection.

PRO TIP – Every dental implant starts with a consultation to see if you need a bone graft. If you need a bone graft, you will have to have another dentistry surgery session where the bone is grafted onto your jawbone. This can extend the timeframe of a dental implant.

What kind of anesthesia do you get for dental implant surgery?

For the most part, you do not need to worry about anesthesia. Most dental implant procedures will use local anesthesia. So, you will be able to drive home after the procedure is done. It’s not that unlike dentures or a tooth replacement.

You’ve already experienced local anesthetic. So, in most cases, you will not need to be fully sedated. However, if you have multiple implants or are afraid of being awake while you get dental work done, you can request general anesthesia.

Dental professionals will usually go over the type of anesthesia they’ll use as part of a consultation.

Do dental implants hurt?

Do dental implants hurt

When it comes to actually getting implants, you might feel a little pain or pressure while the dentist works. If you’re worried about pain, then a quick chat with the dentist can help you get more anesthesia.

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How much pain should you expect from dental implant surgery?

For the most part, implant placement shouldn’t be that painful. Most people will experience tenderness, bleeding, bruising, or slight pain at the implant site after the procedure is done. These symptoms tend to go away within a matter of days.

Most dentists will liken a new implant to tooth extractions. Since you’ve probably had a tooth pulled, you will be able to gauge how much pain you’ll have. Most of the time, taking over-the-counter pain medication will alleviate tooth implant pain.

PRO TIP – If you are sensitive to pain, tell your dentist immediately. Most dental procedures don’t need anything other than OTC medications like ibuprofen, but you may be able to get something stronger to alleviate the soreness.

What can you do to reduce pain during the implant process?

The truth is that most of the dental implants process will be painless. You’ll feel a pinch from the needle as it administers the anesthetic. If your dentist is good, you won’t feel much aside from mild discomfort or pressure.

What can you do to reduce pain after implants have been added to your mouth?

After implants, your dentist will suggest that you do the following things:

  • Get some over-the-counter pain relievers. Ibuprofen and acetaminophen are commonly suggested. However, aspirin can also work.
  • Eat soft foods. Many dentists will tell you that you should stick to soft foods (or even a liquid diet) for the first couple of days that your implant is there. Say goodbye to chips, and hello to mashed potatoes!
  • Get someone to drive you home if you used general anesthesia or IV anesthetic. You may be a bit too groggy to actually drive effectively and safely. Calling a friend or family member can help.
  • Improve your oral hygiene. While your gum tissue heals, you need to keep the area clean to boost the healing process and reduce the risk of complications due to infection or tooth decay close to the new implant.
  • Consider smoking cessation. If you smoke, you may notice more soreness in your gums. Reducing the number of cigarettes in your routine can help immensely. It also reduces your chances of getting infected gums.
  • Watch for the signs of a failed implant. Your body may have a moment where it rejects the implant. A steady flow of pus is a common sign, as is the feeling of having the implant being  “pushed out” as a result of swelling from your gum line.

PRO TIP – If you notice swelling, implant rejection, pus, pain, or a foul taste in your mouth, that could be a sign of infection. Contact your dentist’s office immediately if this persists. You may need a round of antibiotics to fix this.

Does eating with a dental implant hurt?

Does eating with a dental implant hurt

For the most part, the answer should be no. When you are first getting used to your dental implant, you may feel a little discomfort. This is partly due to the way that it readjusts in your mouth after it’s been added in.

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However, you will get used to your implants. If you notice a feeling of your implant hitting you4 other teeth, you may want to schedule an appointment with your dentist. This could be a sign of impaction or a dental implant that has been knocked out of place.

One thing that many people agree upon is that eating with an implant is less painful than feeling the same food on your gums. Teeth are there for a reason!

What should you do if your implant hurts more than usual?

Your implant really shouldn’t hurt, even if it’s just the abutment. Most of the pain you experience after the procedure should subside in 1 to 2 days. Some particularly sensitive people may feel a lingering soreness for up to 10 days.

If you notice that the pain you felt from your implant is getting worse rather than better, or if you feel something awkward near your jawbone, this is a bad sign. You should call the dentist’s office as soon as you can.

How long does it take to recover from a dental implant surgery?

This depends on what you consider to be recovery. After both sessions, you will be groggy for several hours. Your pain will subside within a week, post-procedure. When you get the abutment, you will need to wait several months for the skin to grow around it.

The abutment waiting period is the longest “recovery period” you’re going to have when you’re dealing with dental implants. The good news is that you won’t feel pain throughout that process. It’s so gradual, you won’t really notice it after the first week.

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Can dental implants fail?

While it is uncommon, dental implants can fail. The most common reason for implants to fail is due to an infection that makes it hard for the jawbone to accept the grafts or abutment. In some cases, it can also cause gum disease to worsen until the implant falls out.

A dental implant can fail as late as 10 years after the implant was first added. Having regular checkups, watching for signs of infection, and getting a lot of calcium in your diet can all help reduce the chances of this happening.

It’s worth noting that certain people are more likely to have it fail than others. People who aren’t physically fit, have serious bone loss, lack good hygiene, or smoke are most likely to have a failure occur.

There is some good news here: you can get treatment for it. Unfortunately, this often means that you will have to get dentures instead of implants. It’s something that you’re going to have to discuss with your dentist, especially if you are at risk of failure happening.

In conclusion…

Getting dental implants can be an amazing way to fix a smile and get that picture-perfect look you want. It also can help you feel more confident, eat food with ease, and potentially prevent further bone loss. (Betcha didn’t know that, did ya?)

While having a full set of pearly whites is great, you will still have a little discomfort during the healing process. As long as you keep an eye on your oral health and have some painkillers from your local pharmacy, you should be good to go.

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