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How painful are dental implants?

How painful are dental implants?
Published Jul 01, 2020

A dental implant sounds like a pretty full-on experience; a tooth is removed, an artificial root is inserted into the jaw bone, there are stitches over the gum, etc. It’s not entirely unreasonable to be concerned that such a dental surgery is going to cause some pain.


But is this really the case? And if so, how much do dental implants hurt?


Let’s look at how much pain or discomfort you can expect when getting a dental implant. You may be surprised.


Pain Before Dental Implants


Believe it or not, this is where you are most likely to experience oral pain.


And it has nothing to do with the implant itself.


Damaged, decaying or highly infected teeth can hurt, a lot! If an infection gets around a nerve and causes inflammation, the pain can be constant and unbearable. Likewise, a broken tooth can expose a nerve and cause intense pain.


These are both reasons a tooth might need to be extracted, leading to a dental implant, that is, if you like having teeth.


Pain During Dental Implant Procedure


Dental implants are performed under anesthetic. In some cases, this will be local anesthetic, but can also be under general anesthetic, which means you either sleep thru the procedure or you will not remember a thing.


All topical, local and general anesthetic is applied before any drilling or placement of the dental implant takes place. There should be no pain, although you may feel some sensations in your jaw if you’re only under local.


If you do feel anything, alert the dental team so they can ensure you’ve received an adequate level of anesthetic before continuing. It’s a top priority to absolutely minimize any pain or discomfort during the procedure.


Pain After Dental Implants


Following dental surgery there might be some swelling of the surgical site, but this is usually short-term and minimal. There may be some discomfort in the soft tissue of the mouth, and the gum will be tender. And, gum tissue heals very quickly. 


There shouldn’t be any real pain, however. The discomfort from the swelling is usually treated with over the counter painkillers, if anything. If the surgical site becomes infected, this could lead to pain. But, in most cases, patients rarely need to take pain relievers for more than a day or two.


In the vast majority of cases, the entire procedure — and ensuing recovery period — should be pain-free with minimal discomfort. Any notable pain should be immediately reported to your dentist so they can examine the implant site for any problems, and administer pain relief as necessary.


If you are interested in a consultation to see if dental implants may be right for you, contact one of our expert implant dentists.

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