A dental implant is the closest tooth replacement option to natural teeth. The implant consists of a screw that is placed in your jawbone that acts as a base for a crown, which is the part of the tooth that you see above the gumline.
Does the Procedure Hurt?
When you have a dental implant placed, your oral surgeon will inject a local anesthetic near the area where the implant will be placed. This numbs the area so you won't feel anything while the surgeon implants the screw in your jaw. The shot of anesthetic may hurt or sting slightly for a moment when it is first injected, but some patients don't feel the shot at all.
If you have anxiety or other difficulties with dental procedures, your surgeon may offer you a sedative before the surgery or even arrange for you to go under general anesthesia so you'll be completely asleep during the procedure.
Is There Pain After the Procedure?
Most people who get a dental implant experience some level of pain after the surgery is done and the anesthesia wears off. Many patients report postoperative pain as a mild to moderate discomfort, but some people experience more pain than others.
Dental implant surgeries that take a long time or ones where multiple implants are placed at the same time generally cause more pain than procedures where only one implant is placed and those that are finished quickly.
The postoperative pain is typically the worst in the first few days after surgery, and most patients shouldn't have any pain at all within 10 days after the procedure. If you have pain that lasts longer than 10 days, you should contact your dentist promptly to set up an appointment for an examination. Pain that continues could be a sign of an infection.
What Can You Do to Minimize Postoperative Pain?
Many dental implant patients can manage post-surgical pain and swelling with over-the-counter pain relievers, such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen. If your pain is moderate to severe, your dentist may prescribe a prescription painkiller to take for a few days until your pain reduces to a more manageable level with non-prescription drugs. It's important to follow all of your oral surgeon's postoperative instructions carefully to reduce your risk of infection or implant failure, which can lead to more pain.
If you're missing a tooth, talk to your dentist about your options for replacement, including dental implants.