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Is Getting a Dental Implant Painful?

If you’re one of the thousands of people who dislike going to the dentist, have a sensitive gag reflex, or feel claustrophobic withs someone working in your mouth, we completely understand. It’s common for people to avoid dental care when there are so many unknowns. As a relatively “newer” dental procedure—technically, they’ve been around for decades; dental implants do make some people worry how comfortable the process actually is. Does it hurt to get artificial tooth roots (dental implants) installed in your mouth? 

The short answer: usually not. Implants are a minimally invasive procedure that’s gentler than you might expect. 

Good News: Implants are Minimally Invasive

Believe it or not, implant surgery is fairly minimally invasive. Even when it comes to full-arch tooth replacement. Most patients are surprised to learn that the dental implant procedure requires minimal downtime, limited (to no) pain medication, and gives them a solution that feels like natural teeth.

During your initial consultation at Gordon Dental Implants & Cosmetics, our implant dentist Dr. Philip Gordon will discuss things like:

  • How many natural teeth need to be replaced
  • The number of dental implants required
  • The best type of implant restoration for your smile
  • Pain management options, such as sedation and local anesthesia

How Numb Do I Need to Be During the Surgery?

To prevent any implant pain, we will completely numb the implant site with a local anesthetic. The bone at your implant site won’t hurt, but we still need to make sure the gums are numb before creating a small opening to install the implant. Is placing a dental implant painful? No. Can it be irritating to the gums? Yes, slightly. 

If you choose to have your implants placed using only local anesthetic, the numbing medication will wear off within a few hours. 

Will I Need Sedation During Dental Implant Surgery?

Local anesthesia is typically more than adequate for a simple dental implant installation. However, even though getting dental implants hurts less than many other common procedures, multiple implant installation is typically performed under sedation, especially for full-arch reconstruction like “All-on-4”. Sedation helps you feel more relaxed, allowing our implant dentist to work as efficiently as possible. 

Can I Feel the Dental Implant in My Bone?

One of the reasons why dental implant pain is practically non-existent is because there are no nerve receptors in your jaw bone. The only thing you’ll feel is a bit of tenderness where the gum tissues are opened. Yes, you’ll be able to feel some pressure when you use them to bite down, but nothing more than what you would feel on a healthy natural tooth. 

Risks to Avoid After Implant Surgery

There are several factors that could potentially cause you pain after implant surgery that are not related to the actual procedure. Some of the things you’ll want to do are avoid smoking and stay away from hard foods or vigorous exercise. In addition, we’ll provide you with special instructions on how to clean your mouth to prevent infection. 

How Painful is Implant Treatment (1-10)?

Most people say that any implant pain is less than having a tooth removed. If for any reason you experience pain during your appointment, let us know, and we can administer additional numbing medication. Our dentist’s advice is to use a local anesthetic paired with sedation dentistry to eliminate or reduce pain during surgery. 

Chances are you might have some soreness where the local anesthetic was injected or on the gums where the small opening was created. Both are extremely minor, but some people might rank them as a 2-4 on a scale of 1-10. 

What You’ll Feel During/After the Implant Procedure

Implant dentistry is practically pain-free, especially if you’re having it completed under sedation. Since bone structure does not have nerve receptors, minor discomfort is practically non-existent. A bit of pressure should really be all that you feel. If you already have missing teeth, it will make for a more comfortable recovery. But if you have teeth that need to be extracted, you’ll want to consider a slightly longer healing time. 

Who to Call if You’re Experiencing Pain at Home

Moderate to severe pain from a dental implant is not usually normal. However, if you’re experiencing throbbing pain, our office can provide medical advice to assist in your pain management. While it’s normal to feel discomfort on an extremely minor scale, significant pain is different. We’ll be in contact with you after your implant surgery to make sure you’re recovering nicely. Be sure to use your cold compress and take medication as prescribed to keep inflammation down. A warm salt water rinse can also be effective. 

Do I Need to Worry About Complications Causing Discomfort?

Dental implant complications are rare—especially when a highly trained implant dentist like Dr. Gordon performs your treatment. We’ll want to screen you for any underlying medical conditions and make sure you have good oral hygiene before recommending implant placement. Extremely rare complications such as nerve damage can occur, but that is also the same with other routine procedures like dental extractions and administering local anesthetic. 

Pain Medication After Implant Surgery

Is it normal to need pain medications or an over-the-counter pain reliever after an implant procedure? Pain is usually minimal after your anesthesia wears off. However, we might prescribe medications to ensure a comfortable healing process as your gums heal around the installation sites. As long as you clean and care for your mouth as directed, you probably will not need a pain reliever for more than a day or two at most. Applying ice packs every 20 minutes can reduce swelling, improving your recovery time. Over-the-counter medication is typically more than adequate. If, for any reason, you’re experiencing significant pain with dental implants, contact our dentist immediately. 

Pain free Implant Appointment Leawood. KS
Dr. Gordon with an implant patient

Gentle Dental Implant Treatment Near Kansas City

Are you looking for the best implant dentist in the Kansas City area? Gordon Dental provides highly experienced and gentle implant dentistry options for people of all walks of life throughout Leawood, Overland Park, Prarie Village, KS, and the Kansas City, MO area. Our extensive training in dental implant therapy will ensure a safe and comfortable experience for each of our patients, regardless of how many teeth need to be replaced. 

To learn more about some of the ways we make implants for teeth comfortable—and to find out if you qualify for dental implants—reserve a consultation today!