Many people worry that getting dental implants will be a painful process. But there’s good news: people who have gone through the process say that it’s much less discomfort than they expected. In fact, it can be one of the least painful dental procedures you go through. Here’s why.
Few Nerves in the Bone
People expect that dental implant surgery will hurt partly because a damaged or infected tooth can be very painful. And any procedure that treats a tooth, such as a filling or crown can cause significant discomfort.
However, the discomfort in all these cases comes from the tooth, which has a relatively high density of pain-sensing nerves. And because these nerves are trapped in a confined space, any swelling in the tooth can put pressure on them, causing significant discomfort.
But the bone where we place implants is not so full of pain-sensing nerves. Plus, the surgical site isn’t under the same constraints, so swelling doesn’t usually create high pressure in the area.
A Straightforward Procedure
Another thing that can lead to discomfort is the uncertainties of biological systems. When we’re working with a tooth, there are more potential variables to deal with, and sometimes situations arise that cause more discomfort than we would wish.
But a dental implant is an engineered system. Everything related to the implant is precise and predictable. And we have the tools to reduce uncertainty related to your jaw. With our CT scanner, we can take detailed 3D images of the surgical site, which lets us plan the procedure out in detail, and this precise planning allows us to reduce discomfort.
Another benefit of imaging is that we can be thorough in preparing the area for surgery. We use adequate anesthesia to numb the area. During your procedure, you shouldn’t feel any discomfort at all.
The biggest risk of discomfort is psychological. Focusing on and being tense about surgery can increase your discomfort. If you are anxious about your surgery, we might recommend sedation dentistry to help you feel at ease, which can decrease discomfort during and after your implant procedure.
Postoperative Care to Control Discomfort
Some amount of discomfort is expected after implant surgery. However, if you follow postoperative instructions carefully, it will be mild and easy to deal with.
For the rest of the day after your procedure, apply an ice pack to the cheek near your implants. Apply for ten minutes on, ten minutes off. If you feel too cold, but not much discomfort, you can extend the rest period somewhat, but don’t just stop applying ice. The ice not only helps with discomfort, it helps to control swelling and make it easier for you to get back to a normal routine.
You may have been prescribed pain medication, though it’s not always necessary for implant procedures. Whether you have prescription pain medication or are taking over-the-counter medications, start taking them when the first tingles of sensation start. This can help head off discomfort as anesthesia wears off.
For the first day, avoid hot and spicy foods (temperature and spiciness can increase discomfort). You can gradually shift back to a normal diet, but avoid hard, crunchy foods for about a week after your procedure.
Don’t brush the day of your procedure. When you do brush, avoid the surgical sites at first. Only gradually, and gently move to start brushing the surgical area. In the meantime, use a prescribed rinse if you have one or a saltwater rinse if not to help clean the area.
If you follow these postoperative instructions, discomfort should taper off in 5-7 days.
Considering Dental Implants in Rochester, NY?
If you’re considering dental implants in Rochester, NY, we can help. Our periodontal specialist, Dr. Alessandro Geminiani, has detailed training and extensive experience in dental implant procedures. He can help ensure your procedure goes as smoothly as possible, with little discomfort.
To schedule a consultation about dental implants, please call (585) 244-3337 today for an appointment at Contemporary Dentistry.