Dental implants are a great way to replace missing or loose teeth because they look natural, and if they are properly taken care of, they last a very long time. But, a lot of people are weary of the pain associated with receiving dental implants. After all, dental implants require surgery, and with surgery comes pain and healing. However, the apprehension over the pain of dental implant surgery may be overlooked when one considers that there are plenty of ways to minimize the pain of healing. Also, the pain will vary from mild to moderate depending on the person. So, before you decide against dental implant surgery because you are afraid of the pain, please read a bit further as we explain what the procedure involves. It may give you a better insight into dental implant surgery so that you can make an informed decision.
Dental Implant Surgery Explained
Dental implants are artificial teeth that are made to feel, look and act like natural teeth. For this reason, they can preserve the overall structure of your mouth, and keep the aesthetic view of your mouth about the same. A dental implant is a metal post that is topped with an artificial tooth. The implant is placed into the gumline, and the artificial teeth look as close as you can get to natural teeth, so your smile is preserved. The implants are surgically planted into the jawbone, and then requires the jawbone to heal around the implant in a process called osseointegration. Dental implants are surgically installed by either a dentist or oral surgeon, which requires them to cut into the gumline. Yes, that sounds painful, but the dentist or oral surgeon will numb the entire area first, so you will feel no pain during the actual procedure. After the jawbone is exposed, a drill will be used to make a hole for the dental implant. Remember that drills are used when getting fillings too, and because you are anesthetized you do not feel pain from the drill, but maybe you will feel some pressure. The jawbone actually does not have nerves to feel any pain from the drill. After your dentist or surgeon gets the implants placed correctly, they will close up your incision. After that, your healing process will begin.
After Surgery Healing
It is very important to follow the aftercare instructions that your dentist or oral surgeon give you. As the anestesia begins to wear off, you can expect some tenderness. You will probably be prescribed some pain medication, or advised to take over the counter pain medication like advil. It would be wise to follow those directions so you can manage your pain or discomfort. Here is a list that is meant to be helpful to follow post surgery…
-expect some minor swelling for 2 to 3 days post op
-follow a liquid diet for 48 hours after the surgery
-avoid smoking for at least 3 days post op
-rinse with salt water 3 to 4 times daily for a week
-avoid using straws for 24 hours after surgery
-do not eat overly hot food for 2 days after surgery
As mentioned above, everyone will recover and heal a bit differently. Generally, you will feel minimal pain after the surgery, and a bit of discomfort during the procedure. Most patients like the surgery to the pain and discomfort felt during having a tooth pulled. If you do experience pain days after the surgery you should call or see a dentist near you. Obviously, surgery cannot be completely pain free, but dental implant surgery is an accessible operation to consider.