Does Getting a Dental Implant Hurt?
Dental implants are widely considered the best treatment available for missing teeth. Because they fuse with the jawbone, they can support replacement teeth with unmatched stability and prevent the jawbone deterioration that occurs after tooth loss. Did you know that they’re the only treatment option that offers this benefit?
As our name suggests, the Premier Dental & Implant Center in Orland Park, IL, specializes in implant dentistry. We are proud to have helped many, many patients overcome their struggles with tooth loss, each with a unique treatment plan. However, the one thing almost all patients have in common is this question: Does getting a dental implant hurt?
Should I Expect Pain When I Get an Implant?
If you’re considering dental implants and wondering the same, we’re glad to be able to tell you that the answer is no, getting a dental implant is generally not painful. In fact, many people say it’s no more unpleasant than having a tooth extracted with anesthetic.
It’s important to know that there are some situations in which patients may require a little extra care to keep comfortable during implant placement. For these patients, sedation can make all the difference.
What Are the Best Sedation Options for Dental Implants?
There are three main types of dental sedation: nitrous oxide, oral conscious, and IV sedation. All three are effective at inducing relaxation during dental implant surgery, but since nitrous oxide is administered through a face mask, it can be trickier to use in surgical procedures. We prefer treating implant patients with oral conscious or IV sedation, both of which are readily available at our practice. Take a look at the differences between the two:
Oral Conscious Sedation
This type of sedation is taken in the form of a pill. It’s prescribed by your implant dentist ahead of time and can be taken an hour before your procedure. It will make you feel sleepy and relaxed in the dentist’s chair, but you won’t necessarily fall asleep, allowing you to communicate with your dentist throughout the procedure. If you choose oral conscious sedation, you’ll need someone to drive you to and from your appointment.
IV sedation, also known as “twilight” sedation, is administered through an intravenous line in the arm. Because it directly enters the bloodstream, it takes effect quickly and induces even deeper relaxation than oral conscious sedation. It’s typical for IV sedation patients to fall asleep during their procedures and have little to no memory of the procedure afterward. As with oral conscious sedation, you’ll need someone to drive you home after IV sedation.
Members of our Orland Park team have special training in IV sedation. We will closely monitor you throughout treatment and can adjust your dosage at any time for optimal comfort. For patients with especially complex needs, we can also coordinate with a licensed anesthesiologist to provide general anesthesia.
Reasons Why Dental Implant Patients Choose Sedation
- Dental anxiety: If you feel nervous about visiting the dentist, you’re far from alone. Research from the American Dental Hygienists’ Association has shown that anywhere from 50–80% of American adults experience some level of dental anxiety.
- Trouble sitting still: Conditions like ADHD, Parkinson’s, and restless leg syndrome can make it very difficult to sit in the dentist’s chair for the duration of implant placement. Sedation can calm both the mind and the body.
- A longer procedure: It takes more time to replace all of your teeth than just one tooth. If you’re receiving more comprehensive treatment, like All-on-4® dental implants, sedation may be a good choice to ensure comfort throughout.
- Sensitive gag reflex: Some patients experience a strong gag reflex when they have dental instruments in their mouths. If this sounds like you, sedation can soothe the reflex and make treatment much easier for both you and your implant dentist.
Wondering about pain during dental implant recovery? We’re here to help your healing process go smoothly.
4 Tips to Manage Discomfort After Getting Implants
While dental implant placement shouldn’t be painful at all, especially with the help of sedation, it’s very normal to experience some discomfort in the first few days of recovery. Fortunately, there are a number of simple things you can do to lessen or completely relieve that discomfort. Take a look:
- Get plenty of rest: Dental implant placement is a surgical procedure. Our bodies need the opportunity to rest and recuperate after any surgery. Plan to take off from work or school for the first one or two days after your procedure. Avoid strenuous activities and focus on recovery instead.
- Manage pain with medication: Many patients experience mild to moderate pain and swelling around the treatment site. These symptoms can be managed well with over-the-counter pain medications. Let your dentist know if that is not sufficient. Ice packs and cold compresses can also be a great help with managing discomfort.
- Stick with soft foods: Because the treatment site will be tender, it’s best to avoid hard or crunchy foods, like nuts, chips, and candies, that could potentially irritate it and disrupt healing. For about 10 days after surgery, choose soft foods like soup, mashed potatoes, and smoothies instead to avoid additional irritation.
- Don’t drink with a straw: A small blood clot will form over the treatment site after surgery. This blood clot is incredibly important to the healing process, but suction can easily dislodge it. This can lead to a painful condition called dry socket that requires further treatment to address.
Restore Your Smile in Comfort: Contact Our Dental Office Today
At the Premier Dental & Implant Center, we’re always happy to go the extra mile to help our patients enjoy a positive dental experience. With multiple sedation options and a friendly, understanding team at your side, we’re here to ensure that every step of your dental implant care is comfortable. Been thinking about implants but worried about pain? Give your smile a second chance and request a no-obligation consultation at our Orland Park, IL, office. You can contact us online or give us a call. We can’t wait to hear from you!
About Yamen Akhras, DDS
Dr. Yamen Akhras completed training in dental implants from the Misch Institute and the Urban Regeneration Institute. He specializes in treating gum disease, placing implants, and bone and gum grafting.
Read Dr. Akhras's Full Bio | All Posts by Dr. Akhras