Dental implant restorations are one of the true marvels of modern dentistry. They can restore a smile and chewing ability and provide lip and cheek support. They can help regenerate bone lost to trauma or disease. The placement of implants can restore balance to the jaws helping to eliminate pain and noise in the jaw joints. Digestion can be greatly improved. Confidence and appeal and overall health can all be positively impacted by the placement of dental implant restorations.
But, do dental implants hurt?
The majority of patients who I see and who end up with dental implants are already experiencing some amount of pain. A tooth aches because of a deep cavity or a fracture or the patient cannot eat without sensitivity. Some have infections or teeth that have broken. A few have been wearing uncomfortable dentures or other removable appliances. For these patients, the pain really ends as the process of restoration begins, when the problem teeth or appliance are removed.
At the time of the procedure
Typically, my patients are sedated at the time of the implant placement. This is not always the case, but it is the norm. Additionally, the site is fully anesthetized, or numbed up, at the time of the procedure. So, at the time of the implant placement, it is very rare for the patient to feel any discomfort. Almost all describe the implant procedure as significantly less uncomfortable than, say, a tooth extraction.
After the implant is placed
Once the implant has been placed into the jaw, the healing is very rapid. Almost none of my patients have been uncomfortable during the healing phase. The tissue is tender for a couple of days and so caution should be used while eating and brushing at first. Within 2-4 months after the implant is placed, an impression is made for the final restoration. This might be a single crown, a bridge involving three or more teeth, a new removable denture that now rests on the implants or a full set of teeth that is permanently placed onto the implants, which is called a hybrid denture or All-on-4 Teeth-in-a-Day. That visit is usually short and involves no pain. Finally, the final restoration is placed; again, this visit is fast and pain-free.
So, do implants hurt? The answer is that, typically, they do not. And when the rare complication does occur, it can be dealt with be dealt with quickly and effectively. The vast majority of my implant patients are extremely comfortable both during and after the placement of implants.
If you would like to discuss options using implants to restore your natural smile or improve your dental health, please set up a time to visit with Dr. Turner.