One of the most popular questions we get asked when anyone is considering undergoing an implant-based restoration is “do dental implants hurt?” To answer this, we need to break it down into two parts – namely, the dental implant surgery itself and post-surgical expectations. Let’s take a closer look….
When you consider that dental implant surgery involves anchoring a titanium post down into the jawbone, you’d be forgiven for thinking that this is an uncomfortable procedure. In fact, for the vast majority of people, they feel no discomfort at all. So why is this?
Primarily, a lot of planning goes into placing a modern-day dental implant. Many dentists use the latest digital technology alongside surgical guides to ensure the correct placement and trajectory of a dental implant down to the nearest fraction of a millimetre. This is mainly so that any nerves or vessels can be avoided but also to ensure that the implant is in the ideal position in the jaw for everyday activities like biting and chewing. Ultimately, this gives the implant the best chance of success.
Because every detail has been pre-planned, the placement of any dental implant is relatively quick, easy and straightforward. In some cases, implant surgery can take as little as 15-20 minutes.
Moreover, modern-day anesthetic ensures that patients remain awake but comfortable and in many cases, once they recover from the anesthetic they don’t even realise they have had it done. Some patients may feel slight pressure during the procedure but implant surgery itself remains a comfortable experience. In fact, for most people, the dental implants process is no different from undergoing standard tooth extraction.
So now we know that the dental implant procedure itself isn’t painful, what about post-surgery – do dental implants hurt then?
First and foremost, it’s important to note that however comfortable the implant placement process is, it still involves a surgical procedure and like all surgical procedures, there may be an element of discomfort particularly in the first few days after any anesthetic has worn off. So what can you expect?
The first 24-48 hours after surgery is a crucial time for any dental implants and you may feel some slight discomfort emanating from the implant site. This is completely normal and may resemble a dull ache or tenderness which can usually be brought under control by taking common over-the-counter pain killers such as Tylenol or Ibuprofen. Your dentist may also recommend a course of antibiotics to combat any infection and the placement of a cold compress to ease any swelling that may occur.
For the first few days at least, patients might prefer to stick to a softer food diet and avoid chewy or harder foods. So foods like fish, steamed vegetables, yoghurt and smoothies are often recommended. However, avoid food that is too hot or too cold and refrain from drinking through a straw as the act of sucking can damage the implant site.
Typically by about the 5th-7th day, patients should be able to go about their normal daily routines with little or no discomfort. However, this may depend upon their ability to heal, the complexity of their procedure and the number of dental implants placed.
It isn’t unheard of, for example, for a patient undergoing a simple dental implant procedure to be back at work within 1-2 days. Whereas a patient needing multiple restorations can take several weeks to recover. If you are still feeling regular pain by this stage or your discomfort is worsening, it’s important to contact your implant dentist who will be able to help.
On the whole, most people sail through the dental implant process with little or no problems and many have mentioned that the thought of undergoing a dental implant procedure is a lot worse than the act itself.
If you are considering undergoing dental implants to restore your smile, then come and talk to the team at Chesterfield Dentistry. As a highly experienced dentist, Dr. Melba Akinwande and her team are here to answer any questions or concerns you may have such as “do dental implants hurt?”
Being armed with all the answers not only gives you peace-of-mind but allows you to make a fully informed dental decision that is right for you. Contact us on 31-786-3360 to schedule a consultation or fill out our contact form today.