Dental implants are screw-shaped, artificial tooth roots designed to replace missing teeth. An implant’s structure mimics a natural tooth, so it is the most effective tooth replacement. If you are thinking about getting dental implants, what can you expect? Do dental implants hurt?

Are Dental Implants Painful?

Dental implants are not painful. Before placement, your implant dentist will numb your mouth and sedate to ensure the procedure does not hurt. Each patient has unique needs, so your dentist will explain your sedation options depending on your case and anxiety level. Also, your dentist will explain how to minimize your discomfort after surgery.

What Can You Expect with a Dental Implant Procedure?

Before the procedure, an implant dentist will determine if you are a candidate for implants. The process begins with a consultation.

Consultation

Your dental implants consultation will include the following:
• Discussing your goals for your oral health
• Reviewing your medical and dental histories
• An oral examination
• X-rays or 3-D images to assess bone levels and determine if you need grafting before implant placement
• Discussing your options
After the consultation, your implant dentist will develop a treatment plan if you decide to get implants.

Implant placement

Your implant dentist will comfortably sedate you and ensure your mouth is numb for a painless procedure. Afterward, your dentist will complete these steps:
• Make a small, precise opening through your gums and into the bone
• Place the implant root in the bone
• Stitch the site closed or cover it with a healing cap

Dental Implant Recovery

During dental implant recovery, you will have some discomfort as with any surgical procedure. Below are some symptoms you may experience and ways to control them.
• Pain – Pain will peak 24 to 72 hours after implant surgery. If you take a pain reliever as directed by your implant dentist, it will reduce your discomfort.
• Swelling – Apply cold packs to the side of your face for the first 48 hours, then switch to warm compresses as needed.
• Bruising – You may experience mild bruising, which will eventually fade away.

Healing

In about three to four months, your jawbone will fuse with the implant. During the healing period, your role will include:
• Avoid hard or crunchy foods that can irritate the implant and cause pain.
• Avoid smoking because research shows that although dental implant failure is rare, more than half of failures are in people who smoke.
• Wear a temporary crown or denture.
• Return for checkups to ensure your gums, bone, and implant are healthy.

After the healing period, your dentist will do the following:

• Remove the stitches or healing cap
• Place an abutment or connector to each implant
• Attach your final crown or denture

Pain After Getting an Implant

Your recovery after getting a dental implant should be progressive. Swelling and discomfort should gradually improve over the next ten days after surgery. But if your symptoms increase or persist, contact your implant dentist.

Summary

Dental implant surgery does not hurt, but after surgery, you will likely experience some discomfort. Your implant dentist will explain how to manage your symptoms for a comfortable recovery. If pain or swelling persists beyond the expected timeframe, contact your implant dentist.

Are You Interested in Dental Implants?

Are you considering dental implants? In Vancouver, Washington, Dr. Mo Saleh is a Diplomate of implant dentistry from the International Congress of Oral Implantologists and the International Dental Implant Association. He adheres to the highest standards and makes treatment affordable. Visit Dr. Saleh’s website to see his fee schedule. And request a dental implants consultation with Dr. Saleh today.

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