When you look at what goes on during a dental implant procedure, everybody’s first thought is, “Will it hurt?” And that’s a fair question.
Will you have dental implant pain? If so, how long will it last? Is it an indication that something’s wrong? The fear of pain can often overshadow the excitement of restoring a confident smile.
Addressing concerns about dental implant pain is crucial in demystifying the process and ensuring patients make informed decisions about their oral health.
Do dental implants hurt?
For most patients, there is no little to no pain.
Many people who get implants go back to work the same day. Usually, your dentist will recommend taking an over-the-counter pain killer a few times a day and you may experience some soreness.
But for the most part, dental implants will not be very painful.
A tooth extraction is when the dentist must remove one or more teeth because of damage or decay. They may also remove a tooth if that spot needs to be used for one of the implant anchors.
Bone grafting is when the dentist takes bone from somewhere else in your body or uses a synthetic bone to add more of a foundation for the implant.
If this is necessary, it may take several months for the jaw to grow enough new bone in order to support an implant.
Any time surgery is needed, the dentist will use anesthesia. You may either be sedated or just receive a powerful local anesthesia and stay awake during the procedure.
Because of the invention of anesthesia, you won’t feel anything during the surgery and the discomfort afterwards will be minimal.
How long does pain last after dental implant surgery?
When it comes to pain after getting dental implants, how long will it last?
Well, immediately after the surgery and in the following days, you may experience swelling, bleeding, and bruising. These symptoms typically hang around for about 48 hours before they start to diminish.
If you have dental implant pain after 5 days, that’s okay. But if the symptoms persist longer than 10 days, you should contact your dentist for a follow-up.
If you’re experiencing dental implant pain after 3 months, you may be experiencing early dental implant failure.
An implant can fail due to many reasons, like:
- gum disease,
- rheumatoid arthritis,
- an inexperienced surgeon,
- or if you continue to smoke after getting the implant.
If you have dental implant pain years later, that’s what we’d call a late dental implant failure.
This can happen because of:
- nerve damage,
- if your body rejects the implant as a foreign body,
- if the implant protrudes into the sinus cavity,
- or if you experience an acute injury to the area of the implant.
Some indications of a failed implant, on top of the pain, include infection at the implant site, micro-movement of the implant, or having an allergic reaction.
Some other symptoms to watch out for include:
- trouble chewing
- inflammation of the gums
- gum recession
- swelling that doesn’t go down
However, only 5-10% of dental implants fail, so it is a rare occurrence.
How to reduce dental implant procedure pain?
Here are some general tips for reducing pain in the first few days after surgery:
- Apply ice over the swollen areas.
- Use warm water mixed with a half teaspoon of salt — don’t swish or gargle, just let it sit in your mouth for a bit.
- If the bleeding is not being subdued by just gauze, take a tea bag (black tea), wet it, and use it on the wound like you would gauze — the tannic acid helps speed up the clotting process.
- Avoid hot foods for the first few days as heat opens up the blood vessels, which will lead to more bleeding.
- Feel free to eat ice cream! The soft texture is gentle on the wound and the coldness of it will help the swelling go down.
- Rest a lot.
Find an experienced dentist
If you’re looking to have minimal post-op pain, the best thing to do is to do pre-op research. By finding the most experienced dental professional you can afford, you’re lessening the likelihood of severe pain or even implant failure.
For example, G4 dentists who work with Dr. Golpa are some of the most experienced in the country. In fact, the whole G4 dental implant procedure is much faster, more reliable, and the recovery period is drastically shorter than with traditional implants.
Whatever type of implant operation you get, make sure you follow the surgeon’s instructions to the letter, which will include pain killers, dietary restrictions, and specific oral hygiene methods. They know what they’re talking about, so it’s best to listen to them.