As a dental clinic with a special interest in the latest dental implants, one of the questions we often get asked is “are teeth implants painful?” In order to answer this question in full, we need to break it down into two parts – the dental implant surgery and the recovery or aftercare period. So without further ado, let’s dive straight in…
Firstly, pain management during dental implant surgery
You may already know that for dental implants to work, they need to be placed directly into the jaw bone at the missing tooth site. Over time, the titanium post will fuse with the surrounding bone and eventually it becomes part of the patient’s mouth. Naturally, it requires an element of oral surgery to insert the implant into the mouth
There are two ways that implant placement can be achieved. Either by:
- Opening up the gum, exposing the bone beneath and drilling down into the bone; or
- By drilling a pilot hole directly through the gum and into the bone where the dental implant is then placed.
In either event, in most cases, the procedure is pretty straight forward but the latter typically results in a speedier recovery.
The good news for patients, however, is that when it comes to the surgery itself, it’s incredibly rare to experience any form of dental implant pain. A combination of modern anaesthetics and localised sedation means that for the vast majority of people, it remains a comfortable procedure. Moreover, because every aspect of dental implant surgery is meticulously planned patients are surprised at how easy the surgical placement is.
So what can you expect if you won’t feel dental implant pain?
Even though patients stay awake throughout the process, they remain in a high state of relaxation. All patients are closely monitored by the implant team to ensure the utmost safety but on the whole, they won’t remember much (if anything at all) about the surgical process.
They may feel a slight pressure as the implant is placed but it remains a pain-free and comfortable procedure.
So, now we’ve answered the question “are teeth implants painful?” during the oral surgery phase, what about afterwards? Can you expect to experience dental implant pain then?
Pain management after a dental implants procedure
Like all surgical processes, patients may experience an element of discomfort, particularly in the first few days after surgery.
This typically manifests itself in tenderness at the implant site. However, any discomfort should be easily controlled using a combination of over-the-counter painkillers and antibiotics.
If a patient does experience prolonged dental implant pain or worsening discomfort, it could be a sign that something isn’t right and therefore they should speak to their implant dentist at the first available opportunity.
During conventional implant placement – i.e. when the gum is cut and the bone exposed, patients may experience a slight pulling sensation in the gum area. This is because sutures are required to stitch up the gum and it’s a sign that the gum is healing.
However, when using guided digital implant placement – i.e. when the implant is inserted through the gum and into the bone using keyhole surgery, sutures are not needed. As a result, any discomfort is normally minimal and recovery is quicker.
In some cases, it isn’t unheard of for a patient to return to work within a few days after guided implant placement. This does, however, depend upon the complexity of their case and the number of dental implants placed.
So, what else can you expect after dental implant surgery?
Patients may also experience some slight swelling and bruising in and around the implant site. This typically occurs 1-3 days after surgery. However, the use of either a cold compress or ice pack should quickly alleviate any discomfort and bring down any swelling.
For most people, whether they have had a single implant or several dental implants, they can expect to be back to normal within 7-10 days.
What about eating and drinking – Are teeth implants painful then?
For the first 24-48 hours after surgery, patients should try to avoid any foods they need to chew, preferably sticking to foods like soup, lightly scrambled egg, yoghurt or mashed avocado. For best results food should be warm or cool rather than boiling or ice-cold as any extremes of temperature may cause sensitivity at the dental implant site.
After a couple of days, patients may want to start introducing foods like fish, mashed potato etc. as they see fit. Then over the next week or two, as the site heals, they can gradually introduce more and more foods.
Your dentist should give you information on the best foods to aid a speedy recovery and this includes things like drinking plenty of water, avoiding alcohol and adopting a healthy eating plan where possible.
So, are tooth implants painful?
During the surgical process itself, then the answer is no – getting teeth implants is not a painful process. But afterwards? Well, possibly, but it depends upon the complexity of your case and your levels of pain tolerance.
If you are at all concerned about dental implant pain, then it’s advisable to talk with your dentist before undergoing the procedure. They should be able to give you some recommendations to alleviate any discomfort should you experience any.
Here at DDSS/DDII, we invest in the best dental implants alongside the latest digital dental implant technology to ensure that any surgical process is carried out accurately and comfortably using minimally invasive techniques.
So, if you are considering dental implants here in Sydney as a form of missing teeth replacement then contact our experienced team today and let us help you to restore your smile.