Are Dental Implants Painful? Everything you need to know

Some of the most frequently asked questions we get in our clinic are related to pain concerns during and after dental implant surgery. 

Getting a surgery sounds stressful, and in most cases, we all experience some level of fear. 

To answer such questions, let’s take a step back and review all the stages of this procedure. We’ll share every pain-related information with you, so you can be prepared before starting your journey of fixing your health and smile. 

Dental implants are a restorative treatment approach that aims to fix missing or damaged teeth. According to the American Academy Of Implant Dentistry, “dental implants are usually made of titanium and work as a substitute for the tooth’s root. On top of the implant, an abutment is placed, as a connection for the replacement tooth (usually a crown)“.

Implants tend to be a more durable solution when compared to a denture or a dental bridge. They don’t require any attachment to the surrounding healthy teeth, like a dental bridge, or are removable as dentures. This method also reduces the strain on your teeth and the removal of tooth substances.

Getting dental implants requires several appointments and consultations before you start your surgery. This depends on your overall oral health, the number of restorations you need, and the type of your implants. 

At the Swedish Dental clinic, we aim to reduce the number of appointments and provide a treatment plan to help you get your implants as quickly as possible. To achieve this, we perform a computer-guided surgery that results in a painless experience without swelling or bruising.

At this point, we should also highlight and not overpass the fact that the pain and how anyone manages it is subjective and can’t be the same for everyone. 

So, considering all mentioned so far, let’s briefly review the dental implant procedure and then evaluate the pain associated with each stage.

  • Preparation before surgery
  • Bone Grafting
  • Implant Surgery (Placement)
  • Jawbone Healing
  • Placing the Abutment
  • Choosing and placing your new artificial teeth
  • After Surgery / Recovery

Before Surgery

It would be best if you kept in mind a few things before we start discussing the surgery. 

Getting your dental implants usually is a long-time process when undergoing a conservative treatment, and it can even take months to complete.

So, if you are looking for quicker and less invasive results, you should find dental professionals with experience in more advanced techniques (like computer-guided implant surgery). 

Evaluation and consultation require an entire team of professionals. They will recommend and decide the best options for you, create a plan for your restoration, and then you can proceed with surgery.

So let’s leave aside all the X-rays and oral examinations required as the first steps because up to this part, we can guarantee that your appointments are painless. 

However, this could be considered wrong if the pain of a damaged or severely infected tooth is what brought you to the dentist’s chair, which leads us to the next prior-to-surgery step.

Tooth Extraction

If you’re not missing a tooth, your dentist will have to remove the old, damaged one before your surgery. This process could also happen simultaneously with your dental implant surgery.

However, in some cases, someone could proceed only with the extraction and wait until their doctor decides that there is proper healing and then continue. 

Having a tooth extracted usually involves some discomfort. Pain could also be present but usually as a complication after an infection. So, in case you experience this unusual symptom, you should consult your dentist as soon as possible.

During the procedure, you won’t feel anything, maybe a little pressure, since it happens under the influence of local anaesthetics.

The healing process could involve discomfort for a few days, and we recommend following your doctor’s instructions. Take any recommended prescriptions or some over-the-counter pain medication if needed (always ask your doctor first) and try to rest.

Dental Implant Surgery

The whole process is usually divided into a few partial steps. They could be performed in different appointments or all at once. 

At the Swedish Dental clinic, we use computer-guided surgery, a minimally invasive approach that reduces the time between the surgery and the placement of the teeth. 

The treatment plan depends on many factors, and once your team evaluates all of them, they will prepare it according to your needs.

Bone Grafting

If your doctor observes that you have a bone loss, then jawbone grafting is required, but this is not mandatory for everyone. Getting a dental bone grafting means that your doctor will use a “filler” tissue to restore the loss. It could be tissue from your own body or an artificial one.

But how painful could bone grafting be? We completely understand that this process sounds scary but again, it should be pain-free. Your dental professional will use local anaesthesia, and you shouldn’t feel anything.

As you might have guested during the healing process, you might experience some pain, but it’s usually tolerable. Take any prescribed medication (painkillers or antibiotics) and follow the instructions and your doctor’s plan to manage this.

Implant Placement

Now it’s time for your surgeon to place the implant. Local anaesthesia is used, and the surgery itself should not cause you any pain. However, some minor discomfort or pressure could be present, but this is normal and expected. 

As for any of you who are stressed about this even now that you’re reading our article, you can always discuss it with your team. Prepare a schedule based on your needs and consider the option of sedation or general anaesthesia to reduce your stress.

Jawbone Healing

Now it’s wise to take a close look at the healing timeline. After your implant placement and before we can move to the next step, the healing process is crucial. Time is needed so your bone can grow and become a strong foundation for your new tooth. 

For the first few days, pain, swelling, or even bruising could be present. Pain levels may differ from person to person, but either over-the-counter or prescribed painkillers will work. 

Placing the Abutment 

This step could be performed along with the implant placement or as a separate minor surgery with local anaesthesia. 

For example, in our clinic, placing the abutment as a second surgery is not needed. And keep in mind that severe or recurring pain is not associated with this procedure.

Placing the New Artificial Teeth

Once your bone is strong and ready to support the replacement teeth, it’s time to get the new impressions. Your new teeth should fit properly and look as natural as possible. But the time for the placement can vary.

Based on our method, the implant bridge can be placed a few days after surgery when replacing all the teeth in your mouth. 

But, when restoring one or several teeth, the average healing period is around 6-8 weeks before you proceed with the placement. 

The placement is a straightforward process, represents the last and final step of getting your dental implant, and doesn’t involve extreme pain.  

Recovery

Now, you’ve riched a point where you had your successful surgery, and it’s time to rest, start feeling yourself again, and enjoy the results. 

If you follow a more conservative treatment, it is typical to feel pain and experience other symptoms like swelling or bruising. 

On the contrary, the method we use and recommend in our clinic, computer-guided implant surgery, results in a painless experience without swelling and bruising.

You should follow all your doctor’s instructions, take the required medications, avoid hard food and unhealthy habits and take a good rest. 

If you experience any unpleasant symptoms or pain after your surgery, don’t stay at home worrying and suffering; contact your dental professional.

Let’s Recap

Dental implants are a great and durable option to improve your smile and health. The entire procedure and the surgery might sound demanding, but they are definitely worth it. 

Of course, some oral treatments and surgeries might implicate some discomfort or pain as part of the healing process. However, with our advanced techniques, you could achieve excellent results and get your dental implants fast, free of pain, swelling, and bruising.

The dental professionals in our clinic recommend that any persistent pain that only gets worse should not be left untreated. 

So, after your surgery, monitor your health, and if you’re experiencing pain after a few days, note that it is not typical. And you should immediately discuss it with your doctor.

If you have any concerns or need additional information and advice, don’t hesitate to contact the Swedish Dental team to book your consultation.