Are you considering dental implants, but have concerns about the potential for post-treatment pain? While dental implants are an excellent solution to restoring the functionality and aesthetics of one’s smile, it’s normal to feel unsure or have anxiety about dental implant pain. Let’s jump in and take a look at the procedure steps, what the recovery timeline looks like, and answer the question: “are dental implants painful?”
Are Dental Implants Painful? What You Need to Know
If you’re wondering, “do dental implants hurt?” the answer is yes. You can expect dental implant pain for up to 10-days post-treatment while your jawbone fuses and heals around the implant placement site. Persistent pain beyond 2-weeks is not the norm, and requires a prompt consultation with your dental surgeon.
The Dental Implant Procedure: Process, Recovery, and Expectations
The process of getting a dental implant may seem a bit extensive, but this is to ensure that you’re a suitable candidate and that your jawbone can support the implant and heal without complications. Here is a breakdown of what the process, recovery, and expectations look like:
Steps in the Process
- Consultation: Before treatment, an initial consultation is done with us to assess your oral health, and ensure that dental implant treatment is right for you.
- Personalized Treatment Planning: If you’re a suitable candidate, a personalized treatment plan is created based on how many implants you need, and what type of implant material you’re best suited for.
- Implant Placement: You’ll be given anesthesia to ensure that the procedure is painless. The implant will then be inserted into the jawbone, which can take a few hours. Once the anesthesia has worn off, this is where you may experience some dental implant pain.
- Healing Period: After the implant is placed, it must fuse with the jawbone through a process called osseointegration, which ensures a stable foundation for the artificial tooth (abutment and crown). The healing period for this can take 3-6 months on average.
- Restoration: Once the implant has fully integrated with the jawbone, an abutment is attached to it. This acts as a connector between the implant and the artificial tooth (crown). Impressions of your teeth are taken to create a custom-made crown that matches your natural teeth. The crown is then securely attached to the abutment, completing the dental implant procedure.
Recovery and Expectations
- Discomfort: You should expect some dental implant pain in the first 24-48 hours, which can be managed with over-the-counter pain relievers. It’s not uncommon for patients to feel discomfort around the cheeks, chin, and underneath the eyes, or experience minor bleeding, bruising, and swelling of the gum around the implant site for 3-5 days.
- Healing Time: The healing time for dental implants is up to 8 months; however, individual circumstances like needing a bone graft or multiple implants can extend recovery.
- Post-Treatment Care: During recovery, soft foods are commended as to not irritate the dental implant site, and OTC pain relievers and salt water rinses are recommended to reduce inflammation. You must also be diligent about maintaining good oral hygiene practices to prevent infections from forming.
How Long Can I Expect to Feel Dental Implant Pain?
While the initial 2-10 days of recovery with dental implants are painful, dental implant pain after 2-weeks is uncommon and warrants a follow-up appointment to ensure no infection is present. If you’re having dental implant pain 4-12 months after treatment, this could be due to:
- An underlying autoimmune disease,
- Poor blood supply to the implant site.
- Negative interactions with other medications.
- An allergic reaction to the implant materials.
- Nerve or tissue damage.
- An infection or poor overall oral hygiene health.
- Your body’s rejection of the implant.
The Bottom Line: Are Dental Implants Painful?
While dental implant pain is certainly a part of the initial implant process, it’s manageable and temporary. Moreover, the lifelong benefits of new, aesthetically pleasing and functional teeth far outweigh the pain that comes with the healing process. If you’re considering dental implants, but have unanswered questions, our team here at Family, Implant, and Cosmetic Dentistry are happy to help if you give us a ring at (813) 684-7888 or visit our contact page here.