Among the many options to replace missing teeth, dental implant surgery is an effective and secure method. The process starts with the placement of a titanium-based artificial root into the jawbone, which is then followed by an abutment and crown.
Since it’s generally known that patients feel anxious about potential pain after such a procedure, as well as its intensity and duration, we recommend learning more about dental implant surgery beforehand. By doing so, you will know what to expect from start to finish.
Common types of dental implants
These titanium-based screws are implanted in the jaw bone and act as a root for an artificial tooth. Endosteal implants are routinely used for dental implant procedures.
These titanium implants are usually placed on the jaw bone if the bone is not strong enough to support or hold the implant in place. Other alternative dental implant techniques your surgeon might use are bone augmentation, sinus lift and ridge expansion.
What happens during a dental implant procedure?
Before getting dental implants, your dentist needs to understand your general health and the condition of your jawbone. This initial testing might involve X-rays, blood tests, tooth impressions, etc. Your dentist will need to know your medical history, including any diseases and the prescription medications you have used for them. Your dentist will discuss with you if multiple teeth require replacement and if dental implant surgery is a good option for you. Sometimes multiple small procedures are required before dental implant surgery – e.g. bone grafting.
Before having surgery, any teeth that need to be replaced will be extracted by your dentist. Your surgeon may use a local anaesthetic to numb the area and take away the pain.
Usually, tooth extractions don’t take long unless the tooth is broken or fractured. The extraction process is delicate, so the nearby tissue won’t be damaged. You’ll get a set of post-op guidelines to prevent dry sockets and pain.
Insertion of implant and bone grafting
After your dentist has confirmed that you are healthy enough for an implant by examining your gums and jawbone, the next process is bone grafting. If there are any issues with the bone or it isn’t thick enough, a piece of bone may be taken from another area of your jawbone and placed on the affected area. Following this operation, 3-4 months may pass before complete healing takes place.
The placement of the abutment and crown
Your dentist will put an abutment on the implant after it has healed and then cover it with a crown. You will be administered local anaesthesia, so you would only feel pressure during the procedure instead of pain.
The duration of pain and discomfort
Every person experiences different levels of discomfort after dental implant surgery. Even though there is always some level of soreness involved during and after the operation, this shouldn’t stop you from getting implants. The recovery pain is short-term and manageable, but your dental implants can last forever.
The first-week post-surgery is often the most difficult, as patients frequently experience some pain, swelling and discomfort around the implant site. However, by the second week, things should start to improve as gum tissue begins to heal.
Why are dental implants painful?
Below are some of the reasons why you may experience pain after dental implants:
Dental implants can be painful if the cap is not placed correctly or does not fit well.
If you experience extended pain following a dental implant, it is likely due to an infection in your gums. Fortunately, this can be remedied with antibiotics.
If the implants are not securely implanted into the jaw bone, they could become loose and painful.
If a nerve is disturbed during implant placement, it can cause discomfort and painful sensations.
Make sure to discuss your autoimmune disease with your dentist before you have implant surgery, as people with these conditions may have their bodies reject the implants a few months after they’re placed.
How to manage dental implant pain?
Below are some tips to help manage dental implant pain, which, although not excruciating, can still be bothersome.
- To ease the pain and soreness associated with your surgery, you can take over-the-counter medication. Medications such as ibuprofen, paracetamol, and diclofenac sodium are effective in relieving dental pain and can be found at most local drugstores. However, it is important to avoid taking these medications on an empty stomach as this may cause nausea or vomiting.
- A cold compress can alleviate pain and swelling from surgery much better than any other method, whether it’s an ice pack or some towels with ice cubes. Gently placing the compress on the operated area is key for optimal results.
- Foods that are soft and cold will be easier on your gums as you heal. Hot or hard foods may irritate the implant site. Try yogurts, ice cream, or smoothies instead.
- Once you are done with the procedure, let your jaw and body rest so that they can recover. To help with this, avoid talking for a while until the soreness goes away.
- To cleanse your wound and prevent infection, rinse it with warm salt water.
- For the first few days post-treatment, stick to brushing your teeth with a soft-bristled toothbrush and avoid the area that was treated.
- Always follow your dentist’s guidance and use any prescribed medicines, mouthwashes or oral gels as directed.
- Dental implant failure is often caused by smoking, as the damaging chemicals in cigarettes can irritate gums and prevent healthy tissue growth. This leads to pain and unsuccessful implants.
If your pain persists or becomes worse after a few weeks, it might be a sign of dental implant failure. This happens when the titanium post doesn’t fuse with the jawbone as it’s supposed to. This causes the implant to become loose and damage nearby nerves, which is very painful. If you think you might have a failed dental implant, call your dentist immediately to talk about what options are available.
Why choose a professional dentist?
It is strongly advised to visit an experienced professional for your dental implant surgery who can first perform a detailed evaluation to make sure the surgery is right for you and predict if you have a high chance of success. By entrusting this procedure to a highly skilled professional, you can reduce the risk of post-surgical complications and implant-related pain down the road.
At Lyndarum Family Dentist, we understand that oral pain can affect your quality of life. Our expert dentist in Epping is here to help you determine if dental implants are the right solution for your needs. Give us a call today at (03) 9626 9581 to set up an appointment.
Dental Implant Surgery
Is it common to experience pain after getting dental implants?