Are Dental Implants Painful? | Smile Stories
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Are Dental Implants Painful?

are dental implants painful

Considering that 27 million British adults have at least one tooth missing, it is hardly a surprise that dental implants have become one of the most popular forms of cosmetic dentistry. If you’ve lost one or more teeth, you are probably considering getting dental implants. They’re easily regarded as the best long term, permanent solution to missing teeth. 

A very common question asked by those considering this dental implant procedure is, “are dental implants painful?”

Are dental implants painful?

There’s good news to deliver. Our clients report that the dental implant procedure is far less painful than expected and 100% worth it.

You shouldn’t feel any pain during the procedure, and any discomfort post-surgery should be minimal. However, the amount of discomfort (and how long it lasts) depends on the complexity of the surgery and a person’s pain threshold.  

When we talk about the pain associated with dental implants, it’s easiest to separate the procedure into stages: 

  1. During dental implant surgery – No pain felt due to local anaesthetic
  2. The recovery period– Some minor discomfort managed by over the counter medication
  3. When the prosthetics are fitted – Sore on tender gums which can be managed with over the counter medication
  4. Months or years after your dental implants have been fitted –  Should not be painful at all – if you do experience discomfort, there is likely an underlying issue to address

To find out more about the dental implant treatment and what to expect during and after, our Bournemouth cosmetic dentists at Smile Stories have put together this informative post.

Dental Implant Surgery — Is It Painful?

In a word — no. During the dental procedure, you won’t be in any pain. Nada.

Just like when you have a filling, a local anaesthetic will be gently placed into the gum before the implants are fitted. The anaesthetic will cause the area to go numb, preventing pain and discomfort whilst the implant is placed.

The great thing is that you won’t even feel the pain medication being injected as the area will be numbed with a special numbing jelly first. And it tastes like bubble-gum before you ask.

What Happens During the Surgery?

During the procedure, the dentist needs to make a small opening in your gum, so that they can access the bone. They’ll then insert the titanium post, which replaces the root of your tooth.

Don’t worry! The local anaesthesia will prevent you from feeling a thing!

Whilst the drill might be noisy, you won’t feel it. The jawbone doesn’t have any nerves, and remember, you’ll have been given that incredible pain-numbing anaesthetic.  You might feel some pressure from the drill, just like when you have a filling, but it won’t be sore.

The process will take between 10 minutes to an hour, depending on how many dental implants are being fitted. 

Once all the implants are in place, dissolvable stitches are used to close the gum opening, and the healing can begin. Some dentists offer sedation to patients who feel especially nervous. 

Post Surgery

After the local anaesthesia has worn off, you might feel a little discomfort. This will be completely manageable. You won’t need anything stronger than over the counter meds (OTC) like paracetamol and ibuprofen to take the edge off.

Feeling some minor discomfort after any surgery is completely normal. The discomfort is a result of what takes place during the procedure.  

The gum has to be opened during implant surgery before the wound is closed up with stitches.  Some light force is also applied when the implant is fitted. Because of this, just like after any surgery, you may experience some facial or gum swelling, bruising or tenderness where the implants have been fitted. You might also experience some discomfort under the eyes, chin or cheeks, depending on where the implant was fitted. This is all normal and par for the course. 

How to Manage Pain Post Surgery

To minimise any pain and speed up your recovery, you must follow any aftercare advice offered by our team of cosmetic dentists

A few other things can help:

  • Use Ice or a cold compress to help with the swelling – this is normal for two to three days.
  • After the first 24 hours of your dental implant placement, rinse your mouth with salt water two to three times a day
  • Avoid overly hot food in the first 48 hours
  • Stick to a liquid diet for 24-48 hours
  • Avoid smoking for at least three days following surgery — or preferably forever — it’s better for your gums and your overall health
  • Take paracetamol
  • Some people choose to use homoeopathic Arnica to treat any bruising.

How Long Does Any Pain Last?

Any swelling should subside after two to three days, and any discomfort post-surgery could last between a couple of days and a few weeks.  

Everyone’s procedure is unique, everyone’s pain threshold is different, and how quickly people heal varies. So it stands to reason that the length of time you may feel discomfort will depend on each individual. 

As a general rule, if your surgery is complex or you have multiple implants, it’s likely to result in a little more discomfort and a slightly longer recovery time. If you are in discomfort for excessive days, it would be good to check in with your cosmetic dentist. Our Smile Stories team is here evenings and weekends for you.

Healing, Recovery and Osseointegration

After the implants are fitted, the area is given time to heal. The bone is allowed to grow around the implant, in a process called osseointegration. Once bone growth is sufficient and the implant is held permanently in place by the bone, the prosthetic teeth can be fitted. 

The length of time between the implant surgery and the crown, bridge or dentures being fitted can take three to six months, depending on how quickly the bone grows. 

Discomfort After the Prosthetics Are Fitted 

After sufficient osseointegration, the replacement tooth or teeth can be fitted. This includes an abutment (a small post that sits on top of the dental implant and secures the prosthetics) and the crown, bridge or denture. 

After this procedure, the gums may feel sore or tender. However, any discomfort will be short-lived. Again, you can use OTC meds like paracetamol if you experience pain or minor discomfort. 

Why Do My Dental Implants Hurt — Several Years Later?

After the initial recovery period, dental implants should be comfortable. If you have had your dental implants for a while and experience any pain, you should see your dentist. The pain won’t come from the implant itself, as it’s metal and doesn’t have any nerves. 

The pain will be coming from the gums or jawbone around the area. It could be an infection (which can be treatable if caught early), a change in your bite or your neighbouring teeth. 

Whatever the cause, it demands attention, and your dentist can help.

Choosing an Implantologist

The individual you choose to fit your implants is a really important consideration, as much as the clinic you choose.  Ensure the implant dentist is competent in the implant procedure, administering adequate anaesthetic and advising on recovery post-surgery.  

Our expert implant dentists in Bournemouth are knowledgeable, experienced and devoted to minimising any pain during and post-surgery. You can be sure you will be in safe hands if you have your treatment with us. 

Are Dental Implants Painful — In Conclusion

Dental implants are the best long-term solution to replace a missing tooth and offer many advantages over any alternative treatments. 

The procedure is minimally invasive and relatively quick. As the gums need time to heal and sufficient bone growth needs to occur, the procedure has multiple stages. While each stage of the procedure can cause a little discomfort, it is generally minor. 

You shouldn’t feel anything during surgery due to the anaesthetic. Any discomfort after surgery and following the prosthetics being fitted should be minimal and easily treated with paracetamol. 

The benefits of having implants fitted in the short and long term will far outweigh any pain and discomfort felt during the procedure. It’s a truly life-changing thing.

Find out if dental implants are the right treatment for you by talking to our smile architects at Smile Stories. Book your free video consultation today and let our experts walk you through the best options.