How Painful Is Dental Implant Treatment?
When tooth loss occurs, there is no dental restoration that can mimic the natural teeth more closely than dental implants. Dental implants fuse with the jaw and act as artificial tooth roots to support dental crowns, dental bridges, or dentures. Dental implants offer a number of benefits, but many patients worry about the surgical treatment process, and the pain that may be involved.
Dental implant pain is a common concern, but the experience is often much better than people anticipate. Here, the dentists at Dentistry at the Heights prepare individuals in Brooklyn, NY, Brooklyn Heights, NY, and surrounding areas for the degree of discomfort they may experience during (and after) dental implant treatment, and offer tips to maximize oral comfort.
Is Dental Implant Surgery Painful?
Dental implants are placed during an oral surgery procedure, and anytime that surgery is involved people tend to worry about pain. To screw dental implants into the jaw, surgeons must first create a small incision in the gum line. This does sound like it should be painful, but the treatment site is completely numbed with local anesthetic prior to creating the incision, so patients feel no pain when the cut is made.
After an incision is created, a drill is used to create a hole in the jaw to accommodate the placement of the dental implant. Again, this sounds like a painful process. However, the jawbone has no nerve endings, so no pain should be experienced when the hole is made or when implants are inserted. At most, patients may feel light pressure where the drill is used.
To complete dental implant treatment, sutures are used to close the incision site. The entire dental implant procedure typically takes around an hour. The anesthetic used to numb the treatment site stays in effect for the entire duration of surgery, so that patients feel no pain throughout treatment.
Will I Experience Pain During Dental Implant Recovery?
As our Brooklyn patients start to recover from dental implant surgery and the anesthetic wears off, they may suffer from some discomfort. However, most people do not experience a significant degree of pain. Instead, it is more common for the gums surrounding the surgical site to be tender and for the surrounding jaw to feel sore. Discomfort is usually most severe during the first 24 to 48 hours following dental implant surgery, but it can linger for the first week of recovery.
Tips to Reduce Discomfort
Most people can manage the discomfort experienced during dental implant recovery pretty well. However, these aftercare practices can further ease discomfort and make the recovery process even smoother:
- Follow a liquid diet the first 24 to 48 hours of recovery
- Gradually transition to soft foods and then solid food
- Take over-the-counter pain medication as needed
- Rinse the mouth with warm salt water 2-3 times a day
If oral pain is severe and cannot be managed with the above practices, contact our dentists as soon as possible, as it may be a sign of surgical complications.
Get in Touch
Dental implants are a strong, long-lasting, and comfortable replacement for missing teeth. To find out if you are an ideal candidate for dental implant treatment, send us a message online, or call (718) 625-2116 to schedule an appointment with the dentists at Dentistry at the Heights.