If you are considering getting dental implants, you are probably worried about how painful the procedure is. Understandably, the idea of having screws implanted in your jaws can be intimidating. But there is no need to worry, as doctors try to make the surgery as pain-free as possible. Our Boston periodontist, Dr. Sergio Guzman, is a top-dentist here in Boston, and can answer all your concerns in your consultation, and at any step of the way.
When preparing to get dental implants, it is important first to understand how the procedure happens. Gathering sufficient information can help calm you down as you prepare for your dental surgery. As always, we are more than happy to answer your questions at any step of the treatment plan.
How is the implant procedure done?
The process of dental implants is done in three parts. The first part involves preparing your jaw and the implant site. You will be given numbing shots.
After implanting the screw, your dentist will attach a post (abutment) to connect the screw to a temporary implant crown. If the placement is satisfactory, the doctor will proceed to close the incision. Throughout this process, local anesthetic is in effect, which helps keep you from feeling any pain.
The third and last part of the procedure is attaching a permanent crown. This is done after the surgery site has healed and the screw is fully fused with the bone (which takes three to six months). Once everything is in place, a customized permanent crown will be attached to the abutment.
Is there pain after dental implant procedure?
Most patients feel a bit of discomfort in the surgery area, face, and jaw a week or so after the dental implant procedure. We can prescribe over-the-counter painkiller drugs to reduce the discomfort.
Normally, the pain subsides within two weeks of surgery as the tooth continues to heal. If the pain persists after 14 days, you might have an infection, and you should contact us before your follow up appointments.
Causes of pain after a dental implant procedure
Although you may feel a sharp pain after the procedure and as the anesthesia wears off, it is uncommon to feel pain for longer periods of time. Pain and other complications can develop for several reasons, including:
Incision line opening – It is the most common cause of pain and occurs when the tissue surrounding the screw reopens. We may recommend taking antibiotics to avoid infections. If the pain seems to increase, further attention will be necessary. Always contact us if you have concerns.
Infection – Infections can occur and prevent the wound from healing properly. You should seek medical attention if you experience unusual pain on the implant site.
Also, you should be on the lookout for other signs of post-procedure complications, which can include fever, swelling, nausea, and excessive bleeding after the surgery.
How to reduce pain and discomfort
You can reduce discomfort and aid the healing process after a dental implant surgery by:
- Follow the doctor’s instructions, including taking the prescribed pain medication and antibiotics.
- Rinse with a warm saltwater solution to kill germs and speed up the healing process.
- Avoid spicy and crunchy foods for ten days after the surgery to avoid infections.
- Maintain good oral hygiene.
- Stick to a liquid diet for not less than 24 hours after the surgery.
- Brush gently near the implant site to prevent infection, which is a common cause of pain and discomfort.
- Use cold compresses to numb the pain.
- Avoid using straws for 25 hours after the procedure.
- Be sure to attend all follow-up appointments.
Should you consider dental implants?
There are several benefits of dental implants. But before you decide to have the surgery, it is important to talk to a doctor to determine if it is right for you. That said, here are reasons why you should consider dental implants:
- They help prevent jaw degradation due to tooth loss
- They improve your overall dental health
- They provide a more natural replacement compared to other methods since they are attached directly to the jawbone
- Dental implants last a lifetime
- Dental implants have a 95-98 percent success rate, which means minimal risk
Caring for dental implants
Like your natural teeth, dental implants need proper hygienic care, which includes brushing, flossing, and visiting the dentist for cleaning every six months. Without proper care, you can develop peri-implant disease, which occurs when bacteria attack the tissue surrounding the implant. In most cases, peri-implant disease leads to bone loss, inflammation, and tissue damage.
Worth noting, you can treat post-implant conditions if they have not spread beyond the soft tissues. However, you might need reconstructive surgery if they extend to the bone underneath the dental implant.
Pain and recovery during and after dental implant surgery vary from one person to another. However, you can be sure to keep pain and discomfort at bay with medication. Remember to consult us if you experience pain more than two weeks after the surgery. Please contact us to schedule a consultation where we can answer all your questions and talk about a treatment plan.