Does it hurt to get dental implants? That’s usually the first thing my implant patients ask me.
It’s a legitimate question.
Some already fear the dentist — that fear is often compounded in implant patients.
Chances are, candidates for dental implants have done their research and have seen downright frightening images of dental implant surgery online: missing teeth, blood, and metal protruding from the gums. It’s enough to make anyone cringe.
But don’t let the scary pictures on the web steer you away from your dental implant treatment.
Anyone who has been through the procedure will tell you that the pain factor isn’t that bad — and they’re absolutely right.
Because the process is meant to reduce as much pain as possible: dental implants require oral surgery, and as with any surgery, the patient’s pain and comfort levels are taken into account.
Is Dental Implant Surgery Painful?
The reality is that despite whatever fear patients may have, thanks to local anesthesia and IV sedation, dental implant surgery is painless.
Ever had a filling done on a cavity? Good! Then you know what to expect with local anesthesia for your dental implant procedure: you’re administered a small shot (which you probably won’t even feel) to completely numb your mouth and jaw.
With local anesthetic, the most you’ll feel is some light pressure in your mouth during the procedure.
Plenty of patients opt for IV sedation over local anesthesia for their implant surgery, and that’s perfectly understandable. For some patients (especially those with higher levels of anxiety about the procedure) there’s nothing easier than falling asleep before the surgery and waking up with an entirely new smile.
Beyond Local Anesthetic and IV Sedation: Making Dental Implant Surgery Easy and Painless
Because I see patients from all over the greater Bay Area (some even drive great distances) I try to be extra mindful of my patients’ needs and concerns.
My goal is to put patients at ease long before the implant procedure begins. I have a few ways of letting patients know that I’m with them every step of the way:
- A welcoming office setting. When you walk in your first consult, you’ll notice something missing: That stereotypical dental office ambiance—faded pastels everywhere, the overwhelming smell of fluoride, and the far off whirring of a drill—is nowhere to be found.
This is 100% deliberate.
In fact, walking into our office will feel like you’re entering a relaxing spa.
Not only does this environment help patients like you feel at ease, but it’s a gentle reminder that everything from office aesthetics to the procedure itself is done with your comfort in mind.
- A personable consultation. When it comes to your consult, I do more than diagnose. I’m here to answer your questions, address any concerns, and help you with any anxieties you may have. I’m always open to questions, especially if a patient is worried about pain, or simply fears the dentist in general.
When it comes to consultations for dental implants, I always discuss patients’ options regarding how the procedure is performed. My hope is that by discussing the various options, from local anesthetic to IV sedation, patients understand that their implant procedure will be painless.
- Offer more. While making sure my patients know that I do both local anesthetic and IV sedation for dental implants, I also want them to know that I do everything possible to make them comfortable during the procedure.
What do I mean by “more”?
Dark glasses to offset any discomfort from overhead lights. Headphones to drown out sound, which is especially important for patients who feel unease at the sound of the drill. Additional services to help patients relax, including aromatherapy, chair massages, and paraffin wax hand treatment.
- Efficiency. One of the most important aspects of reducing patient discomfort during dental implant procedures is working quickly and efficiently without compromising quality.
I’m lucky enough to have extensive training and state-of-the-art equipment: that means patients are comfortable, done within a day, and leave with a smile that lasts a lifetime.
What about post-op pain?
As with any type of surgery, there is some post-op pain with dental implants. You may feel sore and some general discomfort, but it shouldn’t feel intolerable.
Even my most fearful patients have told me that the post-op pain on their dental implants is quite manageable.
Most post-op pain is similar to that of a root canal, and requires little more than over the counter medications.
However, if you’re pain-sensitive, never hesitate to let me know: your comfort is my main concern, and prescription painkillers are an option should you need them.
Anyone who’s been through dental implant surgery will tell you that any minor post-op discomfort is well worth the outcome. Your implant will look and feel totally natural, and you’ll never have to worry about the aesthetics or functionality of a missing tooth.