If you are considering dental implant surgery to replace damaged or missing teeth, you might be concerned about pain during the procedure or afterward. This is a common fear.
But most dental implant patients report that the procedure isn’t painful and that there is minimal discomfort involved. Plus, you get the benefit of a lasting, natural smile that will allow you to eat and live your life normally.
What Are Dental Implants?
Dental implants are metal posts that are permanently placed in your jaw, which will hold a replacement tooth. Over time, the jaw bone will grow around the implant to hold it securely in place.
At the start of the process, your dentist covers the top of the implant with a temporary crown to allow the implant to fuse with your jaw and your gum to heal. Later, this is replaced with a permanent crown that blends with your natural teeth.
Does the Dental Implant Procedure Cause Pain?
Similar to most dental treatments, you’ll be given something to numb any discomfort and pain during the implant procedure. This is often a local anesthetic that is injected into the gum area, but you can speak to your dentist about other options.
Will You Feel Pain After the Dental Implant is in Place?
It’s entirely normal to have some swelling and discomfort after an oral procedure, and dental implants are no different. This is generally managed by taking anti-inflammatory and over-the-counter pain medication.
If you have persistent discomfort or pain that doesn’t go away after a procedure, this could be a sign of a complication, such as a nerve injury. You should contact your dentist as soon as possible to discuss your symptoms.
Recovering from a Dental Implant Procedure
Depending on the type of implants you receive, the process may take several months to complete. At each stage of treatment, you’ll go through a recovery process that lasts anywhere from several days to about a week.
Some of the things that you can do to make your implant procedure a success during recovery include:
- Following any post-surgical instructions carefully.
- Eating only soft foods and avoiding food that is too hot.
- Using an ice pack or frozen vegetables to reduce swelling.
- Taking recommended pain medication.
- Getting plenty of rest.
- Using warm salt water to rinse your mouth and gums.
Be sure to let your dentist know immediately if you are having any issues.
Are There Any Alternatives to Dental Implants?
You still may be wondering whether implants are the right choice for your dental health. We welcome a conversation about the pros and cons of dental implants as well as their alternatives—dental bridges and dentures.
The biggest advantage of dental implants is that they are the only option that helps prevent bone loss by supporting the jaw. Since they are secured in the jaw, you also won’t need to adjust your diet, which could be a requirement with some of the alternatives.
If you’d like to know more about dental implants or your alternatives, contact us for a consultation.
Dr. Melchers and the experienced staff at Old Mt. Pleasant Dentistry are here to help with all of your oral health needs.