Is A Dental Implant Painful?

For those who have been considering one or more dental implants, a common concern is if a dental implant is painful.

Since receiving a dental implant requires surgery, there is a certain amount of pain associated with this dental operation. However, the pain is temporary and can be overcome with the right dentist and aftercare.

Initial Pain After Dental Implant Surgery

During the actual dental implant procedure, you shouldn’t feel any pain as you will be supplied with anesthesia. After the procedure is over—and the anesthesia wears off—is when you will start to feel some pain and discomfort.

Since a dental implant is placed directly into the jawbone, it makes sense that there is some pain and discomfort in the days following the procedure. In most cases, patients who have received dental implants experience pain or discomfort from 5-10 days after their placement surgery. Many of our patients said that the majority of their pain went away when the swelling went down between the 3rd to 5th day post-op.

Depending on your sensitivity to pain and how many dental implants are placed, our dentists here at Castle Rock Dental may prescribe you pain medication to help manage your discomfort.

General Timeline For Dental Implant Pain

To help you see if your dental implant surgery is on-track, our dentists have a general timeline of what kinds of things you can expect pain-wise that you can consult.

One Week Post-Dental Implant Surgery Pain

When you are past a week of post-dental implant surgery, you will likely still be experiencing pain around the site of the implant surgery. To help you manage your pain, be sure that you are following our dentist’s care and recovery recommendations.

However, if you still have swelling after a week, that can be a sign that your implant site has developed an infection and you need to visit our clinic for care.

Two Weeks Post-Dental Implant Surgery Pain

While implant pain can last up to 10 days, after a full two weeks, your dental implant site should not be causing you pain. If you are still feeling persistent pain, that can signal that an infection has developed.

Three to Four Months Post-Dental Implant Surgery Pain

After three to four months after you have had the dental implant surgery, the surgery site should be completely healed. If you are experiencing pain at this point, the source could be any of the below reasons:

  • Allergic reaction
  • Dental implant overload—jawbone density loss
  • Tissue or nerve damage
  • Poor blood flow
  • Gum infection
  • Implant rejection
  • Negative interaction with medications
  • Autoimmune disease reaction

There is no way to identify these issues at home. You will need to make an appointment and have our dentists examine your dental implant.

One Year Post-Dental Implant Surgery Pain

Since pain after 3-4 months is unexpected, if you experience pain a year after your dental implant surgery, it can signal a serious issue. Some of the potential sources of dental implant pain after one year are:

  • Poor oral hygiene
  • Infection
  • Grinding or clenching your teeth
  • Loss of jawbone density
  • Smoking or other tobacco product use
  • Neck or head radiation
  • Loss of gum tissue around implant

Other Potential Sources Of Dental Implant Pain

Now, there can be other sources of potential dental implant pain that isn’t tied to the general timeline above. All of these issues will require you to visit with our dentists to correct the problem.

Bone burn – An uncommon issue is when the heat produced by the dental drill burns the bone around the implant site. If bone burn occurs, the implant and affected bone will need to be removed.

Loose dental implant – In jaws that lack the requisite bone density, the dental implant can become loose and uncomfortable—potentially painful. Often, the implant will need to be replaced and re-seated in your jaw to correct the issue.

Nerve damage – Very rarely, during a dental implant surgery, the nerves in the jaw can become damaged by drilling or an implant placed too deeply. The problem implant will need to be taken out and replaced to correct the issue.

Infection – As with any type of surgery, there is a risk of infection. It will need to be addressed quickly to prevent the rejection of your dental implant.

Loose healing cap – The top of your dental implant has a small screw called a healing cap, and it can become loose. If it does, the healing cap can cause discomfort and pain. Our dentists can correct it by removing the cap, giving it a cleaning, and securing it in place.

Implant rejection – There are times where an implant will not bond with a person’s jaw and will become loose and painful.

How To Manage Your Dental Implant Discomfort

While you are experiencing dental implant pain during the first week and a half, there are things you can do to help ease your discomfort.

  • Stick to oral hygiene
  • Rinse with saltwater
  • Use ice to reduce swelling
  • Alleviate pain with medication
  • Eat soft foods
  • Take time to rest

If you have other dental implant concerns and would like to consult with our dentist to see if you are a good candidate for a dental implant, contact us today to set up your appointment.

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