Just the idea of a dental implant can be distressing if you don’t fully understand the technology and its effects. After all, it quite literally requires the surgical placement of a metal post in the jawbone, which will secure the crown in place. However, before you run away screaming, learn more about the treatment and discuss the procedure with your dentist. Although it sounds troubling, a dental implant can actually be immensely rewarding. But before we dig in too deep, let’s answer the question that’s surely on your mind: are dental implants painful?
Are Dental Implants Painful?
Are dental implants painful? Although a few different factors will influence your level of discomfort, most patients find that the treatment is much easier and less painful than they had imagined. You may decide to use a pain reliever like Tylenol or Advil, and some doctors will prescribe a medication to alleviate pain as well. To reduce the likelihood of pain, be sure to use an experienced and skilled dentist. In addition, understand that the complexity of your particular situation and your mouth’s ability to heal will also influence the level of pain. Finally, your dentist will likely use local anesthesia to reduce your discomfort.
So are dental implants painful? They are temporarily uncomfortable and may cause a bit of pain. In the end, however, the pain should be minimal and will quickly fade away, much like other dental procedures. So if you’re considering a dental implant, don’t factor pain into the equation. Choose the treatment that will give you the best results in the long run, relying on your dentist for expert advice.
Dental implants are used to replace lost teeth, which may have been removed due to an injury or periodontal disease. The implant will take the place of the lost tooth, providing an aesthetic and functional solution to the problem. Some of the benefits of dental implants include the following:
- A dental implant can improve the appearance of your smile.
- A dental implant preserves bone.
- A dental implant can prevent the deterioration of the facial structure.
- A dental implant can help you regain self-confidence and self-worth.
- A dental implant could improve your social life and/or career.
- A dental implant will not compromise the health of your natural teeth.
- A dental implant may make it easier to eat and speak.
- A dental implant is a long-term solution.
- A dental implant doesn’t require special care.
- A dental implant can reduce your risk of periodontal disease.
- A dental implant can improve your oral health.
- Dental implants have a long, reliable history of success.
In many ways, dental implants are the next best thing to natural teeth. They are strong and stable, after all, providing the same look, feel, fit, and function as a natural tooth. With proper installation and care, they can last a lifetime.
Dental implant surgery varies widely based on the clinical situation and the preferences of the dentist and/or the patient. Most of the time, the procedure occurs in a dentist’s office using local anesthesia, but sometimes other forms of patient sedation are utilized. This ensures that the patient is comfortable throughout the treatment.
The procedure is typically a three-step process:
- First, the implant (a small titanium post) is placed in the bone socket, underneath the gum and flush with the bone to replace the lost tooth’s root. The surrounding tissue and bone will need time to heal following this procedure. The jawbone will grow around the post, anchoring it, over a period of 6 to 12 weeks.
- After that, a portion of the overlying gum will be surgically removed to expose the implant. If the implant has successfully bonded to the jawbone, a post known as an abutment will be attached to the implant. Abutments come in a variety of shapes and forms. The surrounding gum must heal around the abutment, which should be protected from chewing forces during this stage.
- Finally, a prosthetic tooth (i.e., a crown) will be attached to the abutment. The crown will have been created based on impressions of your teeth to ensure that it is the same size, shape, and color as the tooth you lost.
Your dentist will create an individualized treatment plan to address your specific needs. Sometimes the dentist combines the first two steps to shorten the process. This method is not always possible, however, and comes with certain limitations. In addition, some dentists employ a one-stage surgery in which a temporary healing abutment is immediately connected to a two-piece implant.
After the procedure, simply brush and floss as usual; your implant requires the same care as a natural tooth. In addition, be sure to schedule regular dental cleanings and check-ups.
An implant is an effective treatment for a missing tooth, but it doesn’t suit all situations. For example, you may not be a good candidate for a dental implant if you have unhealthy gums, bone loss, a history of heavy smoking, or a chronic disease like uncontrolled diabetes or hemophilia. Young people and pregnant women are also not good candidates for dental implants.
Luckily, there are other options for those who can’t have a dental implant but do wish to replace a missing tooth:
- Dentures: Unlike a dental implant, a denture is an impermanent and removable solution that is secured in place with a denture adhesive. Dentures are typically removed and cleaned at night, and they can slip out of place when a person is eating or speaking. They must be properly fitted to the mouth to prevent infection and decay, but they are useful for those with weak jawbones or unhealthy gums.
- Bridges: A bridge relies on natural teeth for support. The crown replacing the lost tooth is attached to the adjacent teeth, which must be healthy and strong. The bridge will need to be replaced every 10-15 years, unlike implants, which require no maintenance and can last a lifetime. The installation of a bridge doesn’t require surgery, but the device is still quite stable and strong.
So are dental implants painful? Although they may cause some discomfort, local anesthesia and pain-relieving medications can improve your experience. Most patients find that the procedure is easier than they had imagined. Plus, it will all be worth it in the end, as your dental implant will improve the appearance and health of your smile for decades to come.
Are you missing a tooth? If you would like to replace it with a dental implant or bridge and you live in Springfield, Missouri, please contact Wilkinson Dental today. You can request an appointment online or give us a call at 417-882-8222. We would be happy to help! We can also answer the question, “Are dental implants painful?” in more depth.