Is Getting Dental Implants Painful: What Should You Expect During the Procedure

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It’s no secret that dental implants are one of the most popular choices for tooth replacement as they offer a permanent way to address missing teeth.

Dental implants are often seen as a dreadful procedure, and most people are afraid to undergo them, mainly because the process of inserting the implants sounds painful. But there are some things you need to know to help you understand the steps involved and learn what dental professionals typically do to make the patient’s experience as comfortable as possible.

In this blog post, we’ll talk about what you can expect during the implant procedure and answer whether or not it’s painful. So if you’re considering dental implants, keep reading!

What Are Dental Implants?

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Dental implants are screw-like devices inserted into the jawbone to support an artificial tooth, called a crown. Since they mainly replace the root by holding the prosthetic, they are also called “artificial tooth roots.”

The implant procedure requires a healing process that allows the bone to grow around and fuse to the titanium screw, providing strong stability and a secure anchor for the new tooth. A metal post that is integrated into the jawbone is the closest technique to mimicking real teeth because it can stand on its own without affecting the adjacent teeth.

Once the healing is complete, a custom-made crown is attached to the top of the implant (abutment), completing the restoration. Dental implants provide a long-term tooth root replacement that benefits oral health. However, most dental patients are scared about getting them because of fear of pain and worry about what the procedure entails.

Does the Dental Implant Procedure Hurt?

The dental implant procedure involves drilling a hole into your jawbone to gain access and inserting the metal post. While this process sounds scary and painful, rest assured that your dentist will take the necessary steps to make you feel relaxed and comfortable the entire time.

The dentist will numb the nerves surrounding the area where the dental implant will be placed. As the numbing agent takes its effects, you can expect not to feel any pain during your oral surgery.

However, you may feel pressure as the dentist begins to position the implant post underneath your gum line. But you won’t feel pain from drilling or cutting incisions. Although, as with any other medical procedure, it may be uncomfortable in some cases. Generally, mild discomfort or pain may occur once the anaesthesia has subsided after the procedure. Additionally, other options are available for patients with anxiety about dental procedures, such as oral sedation to help them calm down.

What Happens During the Dental Implant Process?

The dental implant process typically involves several stages and can take a few months to complete. First, you will have an initial consultation with your dentist. They will assess your mouth, teeth, gums, and other oral structures to see if you are a good candidate.

Once they determine you’re good to undergo implant surgery, they will explain the step-by-step process and set an appointment for the placement. Generally, the procedure entails the following steps:

  • First, your dentist will administer local anesthesia to numb the area and help you relax during the procedure. Next, to place the implants in your jawbone, your dentist will first make an incision in your gum tissue to expose the bone. Then, a hole is drilled into the bone, and the implant is inserted. Once done, your dentist will close the incision with stitches.

  • After the initial surgery, the bone will let to heal and fuse around the implant. This process is known as osseointegration. During this period, the implants and jaw bone becomes strong enough to support replacement teeth. It can take several months to complete.

  • You may need additional surgery for the abutment placement. It is a piece placed on top of the dental implant that holds the prosthetic or crown.

  • After the gums have healed, the dentist will take more impressions of your mouth and use them to make your custom-fit, realistic-looking dental crown.

  • Then, your dentist will place the artificial tooth on top of the abutment. Finally, they will check the fit of your tooth replacement and make any necessary adjustments.

After each surgery, you may need to eat soft foods for a few days while the surgical site heals. The stitches used may dissolve on their own, but if they’re non-dissolving, your dentist will remove the stitches.

After receiving your dental implant, there will be a few regular dental appointments to check on the healing process and ensure the implant is securely in place.

Are There Any Risks With the Dental Implant Procedure?

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Dental implant surgery has a high success rate in replacing missing teeth. However, just like any surgical procedure, there are some possible risks. Although these are rare, and when they do occur, they are usually minor and can be addressed by the dentist.

  • Infection.
    Your dentist will give you post-operative care to keep your implant area clean and promote healing. However, there’s a risk of infection.

  • Implant failure.
    Complications can occur if there is a problem with the location or angle of the implant. Such as when it may not fuse with the bone properly, which can lead to failure or loosening.

  • Nerve damage.
    The nerves in your mouth run close to the surface of the jaw bone, and if they are not located adequately before surgery, they may be damaged during the implantation process.

  • Sinus problem.
    One significant risk is sinus damage. It rarely happens when the upper teeth need replacement. Since the upper jaw sits directly under the nasal sinuses, the implant may potentially penetrate the sinus, leading to discomfort.

If you are considering dental implants, be sure to ask about the risks and benefits associated with this procedure. An experienced dentist can take the necessary precautions to ensure your safety. Moreover, make sure you do your best to help yourself have a successful treatment.

What Should I Do After the Implant Procedure to Make Recovery Faster?

After your implant procedure, it’s essential to take proper care of yourself to recover quickly. Here’s what you can do that may lower the risks and possibly essential during your healing period:

  • Practise oral care.
    Successful implants require good oral hygiene. We recommend keeping your mouth clean by following the suggested aftercare instructions. Also, regular dental visits are crucial to have your dentist check the condition of your dental implants and spot any potential problems.

  • Warm salt water.
    You may try to rinse your mouth with salt water several times a day. It can help reduce the bacteria in your mouth and help soothe any discomfort or irritation around the incision site.

  • Slightly change your diet.
    You should avoid sticky, hard, and hot foods, particularly during the first few days after every surgery. This is to minimise your jaw movement and to help the wound to heal.

  • Take a rest.
    You should give yourself a good rest after implant placement to preserve your energy and allow your body parts to recover. Dentists suggest avoiding strenuous activity in the meantime.

  • Don’t use straws.
    When drinking liquids, we recommend avoiding using straws. The sucking motion can hurt the wound. Once your blood clot dislodges, your healing time may slow down.

  • Keep hydrated.
    Drinking plenty of water helps your body flush out toxins that could slow your recovery process.

  • Avoid alcoholic beverages and smoking.
    It’s essential to avoid smoking alcohol, as they can interfere with the healing process.

  • Use ice packs.
    Applying cold on the side of your face can help minimise swelling and some bruising.

When Should I Visit My Dentist After Getting My Dental Implants?

After your dental implants are placed, it’s important to attend the recommended follow-up appointments provided by your dentist. In the first few weeks after surgery, they will likely recommend frequent visits to ensure that healing is progressing as planned.

Once healing is complete, you should still visit your dentist regularly for checkups and professional cleanings. Following your dentist’s recommended schedule can help ensure that your dental implants last for many years to come, as well as lower the risks of complications.

What Are the Signs of Post-Implant Procedure Complication?

Problems with dental implants may occur shortly after the placement or years later. While most patients experience no problems after surgery, it’s important to know the signs of complications so you can seek dental treatment early if necessary. Here’s what you need to look out for:

  • Persistent discomfort or severe pain that seem to not subside after a couple of days or weeks.
  • Painful or difficulty chewing.
  • Gum inflammation
  • Severe swelling.
  • Loosening of an implant or tooth replacement.

Keep in mind that you may experience some pain or discomfort following the surgical operation, which you can manage with prescribed pain relievers. However, if they are persistent and you notice any of the signs mentioned above, you must contact your dentist immediately to get proper treatment.

Final Thoughts

A dental implant is a slow process involving minor oral surgeries and healing periods in between. The entire procedure can take a couple of weeks or months to allow bone growth and ensure they are strong enough to support an artificial tooth.

Many people are still terrified when they hear about dental implants. The good news is that this dental procedure is generally considered successful. Also, dental practitioners will ensure you are comfortable during the treatment. Local anaesthesia is given so you can undergo the procedure without feeling the pain. In some cases, sedation can be beneficial for implant patients with dental anxiety.

Moreover, the level of pain tolerance varies from person to person, and you may still experience some degree of discomfort after surgery. But overall, the implant procedure should not be as painful as it may sound.

Make sure to call our dental clinic at (08) 9349-0800 if you have any questions about the healing process or post-operative care. At Comfort Care Dental, we want to ensure your dental implant experience is as positive as possible.


Dr. Karthik Lakkaraju

For Dr Karthik, dentistry is the complete package. He most enjoys the feeling he gets when he sees a patient achieve a beautiful smile, or can put an end to pain and increase the quality of life. He believes oral health is a mirror of general health and reflects the person’s personality and confidence.

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