There are many different scenarios surrounding dental implant surgery. You may be getting a single implant or several implants to support a full arch denture. Patients may also undergo the extraction of the damaged tooth at the same appointment as their implant placement. In other cases, patients may need bone grafting performed prior to implant surgery. These are all important considerations that can impact the complexity and length of your dental implant process. While some patients may experience more discomfort than others during their healing and recovery process, dental implant surgery itself is not considered a painful procedure.
When the dental implant (or small titanium post) is installed, you will be under an anesthetic which numbs the area of your mouth completely. This prevents you from feeling any pain during the oral surgery. To further protect your comfort and calm your anxiety, sedation dentistry can be administered. This can be in the form of an oral sedative, nitrous oxide inhalation or IV sedation. Once the operation is complete, the local anesthetic and sedative will wear off and some discomfort or residual pain may be present. However, most patients are able to effectively manage their level of pain with an over-the-counter pain reliever. A stronger pain reliever may be prescribed if your implant surgery was especially invasive.
In general, the healing process after dental implant surgery involves discomfort that is similar to a routine extraction, or getting a tooth pulled. Fortunately, your mouth is one of the fastest healing parts of your body. Beyond taking Acetaminophen (as in Tylenol) or Ibuprofen (as in Advil), you may find relief by using a cold compress on the area and following the guidelines for a soft diet and plenty of rest and liquids. You can also expect an antibiotic to be given to prevent infection, which can by very painful.
Are you concerned or anxious about what to expect after dental implant surgery? You are not alone. At the office of Dr. Wayne Suway, we are happy to answer your questions and fully disclose information about how you can plan for your specific implant procedure. While the process may seem complicated or lengthy, the reward is always a confident and beautiful smile!