Does It Hurt to Get Dental Implants?

Jamie J. Alexander on April 28, 2022

Are you considering dental implant treatment in Boynton Beach, Florida? Dentist Dr. Jamie Alexander collaborates with top implant surgeons to make sure dental patients receive the highest standard of care. On our blog pages, you will receive answers to many of your implant questions. 

Pain and discomfort are among the top concerns of dental patients considering dental treatment. When it comes to dental implants, the benefits to be gained far outweigh temporary post-operative discomfort from gum swelling and facial muscle tenderness.

Local anesthetics and sedation techniques such as oral sedation medication and moderate IV sedation, ensure that you will be comfortable during implant treatment procedures. Helpful instructions for home care, enable patients to manage gum swelling during the first few days of healing and most patients report they feel better than they expected they would.

Typically, Patients Have Experiences Like the Following

A common implant scenario for replacing a broken molar is to be sedated or to receive a local anesthetic for the extraction. During the surgical procedure, the periodontist or oral surgeon places osseous material in the bone cavity vacated by the molar’s roots, and the surgeon sutures the gums. After about 6 weeks of healing, the implanted bone material becomes fully integrated with the jawbone, and the bone is now ready to receive an implant. Under sedation or with a local anesthetic, the implant is placed and again there is a period of about 6 weeks for osseointegration to occur.

There are no pain receptors in the bone itself, but after each surgical procedure, there is gum tissue swelling at the surgical site. Uncomfortable swelling begins later in the day after the procedure and continues for 2 to 3 days. The pain is usually managed with over-the-counter pain relief medication and cold compresses applied to the outside of the cheek. Because the jaw has been held open, there may be some jaw muscle tenderness for a couple of days after each of these procedures. In almost all cases, patients return to their usual daily activities the next day.

After bone tissue has grown around the implant and is strongly integrated with the jawbone, there is an appointment in which the implant crown is placed on the implant. The crown placement procedure is a comfortable one, both during and after.

Boynton Beach dentist, Dr. Jamie Alexander, refers his patients to implant specialists for the surgical procedures, but he collaborates with a preferred dental lab to design and make an implant crown that fits and blends with the patient’s smile. Dr. Alexander places the crown on the implant instead of the surgeon, and during that appointment, he makes sure the occlusion of the implant tooth functions in harmony with opposing teeth.

When an entire arch of missing teeth will be replaced with an overdenture retained on four or more implants, the surgical specialist will immediately place the overdenture. When a conventional removable denture is being replaced with a snap-on removable denture supported on a minimal number of implants, that denture will be predesigned and fabricated so the surgeon can immediately snap it on the implants. In both of these cases, there is no need for a period of healing to take place before the patient can use their prosthetic teeth to begin eating. That’s because the forces on the implants are evenly distributed by the design of the full arch denture. Gum swelling discomfort that occurs is well managed with over-the-counter pain relief medication.

Other Discomfort You Might Experience

Gum swelling pain can be throbbing at its peak. Pain medication will relieve that throbbing pain. In addition to gum swelling and jaw tenderness, you might experience some bleeding at the surgery site, jaw stiffness, swelling around the face, and minor bruising. The periodontist or oral surgeon who performs the surgical procedure will provide instructions for caring for yourself. Post-operative care may include:

  • prescription and over-the-counter medications for pain
  • avoidance of certain foods, such as hard and hot foods
  • ice packs to reduce swelling
  • rest on the day of the procedure and possibly in subsequent days, depending on how you feel
  • instructions on how to clean your mouth to avoid irritating the surgery site

Understanding the discomfort and possible throbbing pain that might occur usually enables patients to relax around those sensations, follow their post-operative care instructions, and carry on easily with their life.

How Long Might Discomfort Last?

Typically discomfort lasts 3 to 5 days after surgery. You may only need to take pain medications for 1 or 2 days. Swelling, bruising, and jaw stiffness might last longer and should fade within 7 to 10 days. If pain becomes acute or lasts more than 10 days to 2 weeks, you should call your surgeon’s office to discuss what you are experiencing.

Can Pain or Discomfort Occur Weeks, Months, or Years Later?

On rare occasions patients develop a gum infection around the implant or another type of complication occurs, for example, occlusal forces push an implant upward against the sinus membrane causing sinusitis or occlusal forces move an implant horizontally in the bone applying pressure on adjacent tooth roots. If pain occurs or an implant feels loose or you observe that has begun to move, you should alert your dentist and oral surgeon immediately. Regular dental checkups at your dentist’s office will enable your dentist to help you spot a problem long after implant treatment is completed.

Are you seeking a dental office you can count on to provide the highest standard of care?

Dr. Jamie Alexander welcomes new dental patients. Our entire team compassionately assists patients in restoring and maintaining their oral health and smiles. Providing understanding and comfortable care are priorities here. Sedation medication options are available. Give us a call to schedule a comprehensive exam and consultation to learn what is possible for you.

We invite you to also read 5 Things You Can Do to Prepare for Dental Implant Treatment (drjamiealexander.com).