Missing teeth often lead to the degradation of the jaw bone, recession of gums, weakening of adjacent teeth, and may also deprive individuals of their smile. For most dental implant candidates, the big question that often comes up is: are dental implants painful? While the procedure is minimally invasive, patients can generally expect some pain after the procedure. The pain that patients feel during dental implant surgery actually does not result from the hole made in the bone or the placement of the implant. Instead, the pain usually arises from the manipulation of soft tissues that occurs during the process. Dental implants that do not require lifting the actual gum tissue are generally painless. Many patients have reported pain levels at 1 or 2 at most. If the small flap of gum tissue is lifted, some patients have reported pain levels at 3 or 4 on the first night, which tend to decrease afterward.
When receiving a single dental implant, the area will be numbed with a local anesthetic. Since you will receive an anesthetic, you won’t feel any pain during the gum incision or the drilling of the dental implant into your jawbone. If you are undergoing a full-mouth dental implant procedure, you will be under sedation and won’t feel anything during the procedure.
What is Involved in Dental Implant Surgery?
Dental implant surgery involves drilling a hole into the jawbone, and then a metal post is placed into the hole. The metal post serves as an artificial tooth root. To allow the bone in the jawbone to grow through the metal post, this process is known as osseointegration. The abutment, a component to which the dental crown is attached, is usually not attached to the post until osseointegration is complete.
How Long is the Dental Implant Recovery?
As the anesthesia wears off, you may experience some tenderness in the first couple of days. However, any pain you experience is usually very manageable. Most of our patients are pleasantly surprised at how quickly they recover after their dental implant surgery. Many are able to return to work or their daily activities the next day. If you experience any soreness after your dental implant surgery, we recommend taking over-the-counter pain relievers like Advil.
On average, it takes about 6 months to fully recover from dental implant surgery. During this period, it should be understood that this is not a period of recovery from dental implant surgery pain but the time needed for your implants to naturally fuse with your jawbone.
Will I Be Able to Eat Solid Food After My Dental Implant Procedure?
After your dental implant procedure, eating regular foods will be challenging until your gums heal. It is recommended to consume soft foods for a while until you have healed. We advise you to avoid caffeine and tobacco products to prevent implant failure and other potential complications.
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