Dental implants are the most popular choice for replacing any missing or damaged teeth caused by reasons such as aging, decay or injury, as they provide a permanent solution. Dental implants can dramatically improve your day-to-day life with speaking, eating and even in your confidence by restoring your smile.
The dental implant procedure should take around 1 to 2 hours, with an average healing time of 3 to 6 months, where your dentist will place a titanium alloy into your gum to act as a root for the crown tooth. The titanium piece will merge into the surrounding bone tissue, leaving the gym to heal around it.
Undergoing any dental surgery can be daunting but we can assure you that during the procedure itself, you will not feel pain as your dentist will numb the treatment area with a general or local anesthesia. Following the treatment however, once the anesthesia wears off, it is quite normal to feel mild pain that can last a few days. You may even be happy to hear that many have reported the pain to be less than that of a tooth extraction which is usually reduced with over-the-counter medication such as ibuprofen and Tylenol or a prescription painkiller prescribed by a dentist.
You may experience temporary pain in the surrounding areas of the treatment area such as your chin, cheeks or underneath the eyes, depending on where the implant was fitted but many patients have claimed that the pain is well worth the process. The healing process and the pain you may endure will depend entirely on whether the implant has been fitted correctly, you are maintaining oral hygiene and the health of your gums. Should you experience increased pain a week after the treatment, you should book an appointment with your dentist right away as the implant could be incorrectly fitted or you may have developed an infection.
How Long Does Discomfort Last?
It’s important to note that the pain does not come from the implant itself but rather the soft tissue manipulation that occurs throughout the process. If you need to undergo a bone grafting treatment, you may experience a higher level of pain from the implant procedure although pain from both procedures should begin to subside after 3 to 5 days.
It is not unusual to experience some sort of pain or discomfort following the first 10 days of your implant procedure in the treated areas of your face and jaw; however, healing time will vary person to person as this entirely depends on the health of the gums. You may experience some swelling in the area which can be eased with a cool compress and over the counter medication. After the treatment, you will be given strict instructions on how best to treat your implant site for up to 2 weeks. Your dentist may also prescribe antibiotics to avoid any infections and painkillers to ease pain at your treatment site.
After about 3 days, the pain should decrease although this will vary person to person as everybody heals at a different rate. After 2 weeks or 14 days, you should not experience any further pain and the implant should be healing nicely, as expected. If the pain and swelling continues to persist after a week, you should visit your dentist immediately to see whether you have a growing infection or an issue with the implant.
Reduce Pain and Discomfort from Your Dental Implant
Following your procedure, your dentist will provide you with instructions that you should follow for a healthy recovery process. You may want to take some time off work for the first 3 days as the pain eases and take a break from any exercise to prevent triggering trauma to the implant site. During the first 10 days, you should stick with a soft food diet and avoid eating hot, spicy and crunchy foods to avoid infection. You will also need to avoid consuming caffeine, alcohol and tobacco or drinking from a straw to prevent implant failure or a “dry out” of the blood clot which can leave the implant site to be extremely painful. Drying out of the implant area is where a blood clot forms over the gum and is dislodged or removed to cause complications in your implant and surrounding gums.
To promote healing, you should regularly gently rinse warm salt water to kill any germs and bacteria in your mouth and maintain impeccable oral hygiene. Of course, you should remain extremely cautious near the implant site by brushing gently to avoid triggering trauma and infection. To ease your pain, your dentist may prescribe you painkillers that you can take with over the counter medication. You should apply a cold compress to your face to bring down the swelling and help to further reduce any pain you may be experiencing.
You should not be experiencing increased pain during the recovery process and several patients have even claimed to have forgotten about it. Pain can be reduced using a compress, over the counter or prescribed medications and following the instructions provided by your dentist. Although dental implants are not natural teeth, they should still be cleaned and well maintained, especially during the healing stages for healthy recovery to avoid infection. It is important to schedule regular appointments with your dentist to follow up on the health of your implant as well as the surrounding teeth and gums.