Fear of pain is one of the primary causes of dental anxiety – but it doesn’t need to control you. Learning more about what it feels like to get dental implants will help you take the next step.
We’ve put together guides to what you can expect both during and after the procedure, and what most patients feel like throughout the process. Pain doesn’t need to be a part of your implant surgery – and Dr. Zymantas and our team will do everything possible to ensure that you are informed and comfortable. Get in touch if you have any questions.
Does Dental Implant Surgery Hurt?
The procedure will not hurt. The patient is completely numbed in the treatment area before surgery begins. You will feel some pressure as the implants are placed, but not pain or really any discomfort.
While implant surgery sounds like a significant process, the procedure itself is straightforward. Local anesthesia will be administered before you begin the procedure. This involves shots of anesthetic in your gums. If you have a fear of needles or are particularly concerned about the process, ask Dr. Zymantas about your sedation options.
The bone in which the implants are placed does not have nerves that sense pain, so placing the implant will not cause discomfort. You will experience vibration and pressure as the bone is prepared for the implant.
We prioritize keeping anxious patients comfortable and we have worked with many patients who have been able to overcome anxiety in our office. If you are concerned about the process, please voice your thoughts so that we can discuss sedation.
How Will I Feel After the Procedure?
As with most surgeries, it’s after the procedure that you will begin to experience some soreness. As the numbness first wears off, you’ll notice the treatment area becoming tender. Dr. Zymantas will recommend or prescribe painkillers to help curb any discomfort in the 1-2 weeks after surgery.
You may notice discomfort in the area surrounding the new implants, including the chin, cheeks and under the eyes.
The complexity of your case will impact how much pain you experience as you heal. If you had a bone graft or a sinus lift performed to prepare you for the implants, there will be more soreness. Your gum and bone health also determine how much bruising, swelling and bleeding you might experience. The more implants you received, the more gradual your healing will be. But not matter whether you received a single implant or implants across your jaw, there are ways to ensure comfort.
Most patients find that their recovery is not as painful as they initially expected it would be. The majority compare the experience to healing after a root canal or a tooth extraction. So, if you had your wisdom teeth out when you were younger, you’re likely not going to be experiencing anything too different.
We’re all different, and all heal differently – if you’re ever uncertain about how to treat your teeth or think your pain might be getting worse, don’t hesitate to get in touch.
Tips for Comfortable Healing During Dental Implant Recovery
The primary healing period, when you will likely be experiencing discomfort, will be 7-10 days after implant surgery. Be sure to do the following to make this period as positive as possible:
Plan ahead – Be sure to work with a provider with extensive training and many years of implant experience. Do your research and check patient reviews, as well as the dentist’s or surgeon’s credentials. Ask them how often they place implants at your consultation.
Follow your dentist’s instructions – Be sure to follow the instructions you’re given after your implant surgery. If you’re ever unsure about an instruction, get in touch.
Take the recommended painkillers – Dr. Zymantas will recommend certain painkillers to manage discomfort. Ibuprofen is often recommended as an over-the-counter option, or you may be prescribed a painkiller. Follow your provider’s instructions and get in touch with them if the painkillers are not adequate and you need additional pain relief.
Ice your cheek – Apply an ice pack, gel pack or bag of frozen vegetables to manage swelling. Apply this to your cheek or your lips, and keep it in place for 10 minutes at a time. Don’t keep the ice pack on too long, as this can cause tissue damage – let your cheek return to its normal temperature before putting the pack back on.
Use salt water – Bathe your gums in a warm salt water solution. Don’t swish the solution or gargle it, just gently pour it over your gums and then spit it out.
Eat soft foods – Soft foods (or, better yet, cold and soft foods) will be easier to chew and won’t irritate your gums or disrupt the healing implants. Try to eat smoothies, yogurt, ice cream, soups or mashed vegetables.
Clean carefully – It’s very important that you clean your teeth normally during healing, to prevent infection or other complications. Ask Dr. Zymantas for tips if you’re struggling to practice your normal oral hygiene.
React to growing pain – If your discomfort is getting worse or lasting longer than you expected, contact your implant provider right away.
Rest up – Be sure to get plenty of rest – now is the time to embrace naps – and don’t engage in strenuous activities so that your body can direct its resources toward healing.