Whether you have implant surgery scheduled or you’re still researching your options, you’re likely wondering how painful it is to get dental implants and what you can expect from the recovery. The good news? Getting dental implants is a lot less painful than most people think it will be. Here’s what you should know.
What to Expect During Your Dental Implant Surgery
Dental implants are different from other methods of restoring missing teeth because they’re the only option that replaces the roots of the teeth in addition to the visible portion above the gum line. In order to accomplish this, biocompatible metal posts are placed in the jawbone to anchor your restoration.
Just like any other oral surgery, you won’t feel any pain when your dental implants are being placed because your mouth will be numbed with local anesthetic injections. If you’re nervous about the procedure, we can also offer nitrous oxide or conscious oral sedation to help you relax.
Recovery From Dental Implants
As the local anesthetic begins to wear off, you will begin to experience discomfort. If you’ve had a tooth extracted before, the pain is often described as comparable, while some patients feel that their dental implants are even less painful than their extractions.
In addition to pain, you are likely to experience one or more of the following symptoms:
The surgical site is likely to bleed for two or three days after the procedure. If bleeding is prolonged or severe, call our office.
A few days following your dental implant surgery, you may notice bruises on your face. Your gums may also appear bruised as you recover from the procedure.
Swelling is common and should be expected in the days following dental implant surgery. In addition to swelling inside the mouth, you may observe facial swelling around your mouth, cheeks, and eyes.
Dizziness, Lightheadedness, Nausea, and Vomiting
These are all side effects of sedation. Many patients don’t experience these at all, but some people are more sensitive to dental sedation than others. In the case of nitrous oxide, these symptoms should go away minutes after your procedure; for patients who have had conscious oral sedation, it may take a few hours to feel better.
While you should begin to feel back to normal within a week or two of your procedure (depending on the number of implants you had placed), the true recovery from dental implant surgery takes much longer. The process is only complete after your bone and dental implants grow together to form a stable base for a restoration—this is called osseointegration. It can take up to seven months for this to occur.
We will provide you with aftercare instructions to help make the days after your implant surgery more comfortable. To minimize pain, it’s a good idea to eat soft foods and gradually progress to harder foods once the surgical site is no longer tender. Over-the-counter pain medications and cold compresses can be used to manage pain and swelling.
Getting the rest you need is one of the best steps you can take to encourage your body to heal and recover from surgery.
When to Call Our Office
Pain is normal after getting dental implants, but if it’s been a few days since your surgery and you notice that the pain is getting worse instead of better, call us right away. If this is accompanied by discharge at the surgical site, a foul taste or odor, bleeding, inflammation, or a fever, it’s a sign that you have an infection.