How Painful is Dental Implant Surgery?

Dentist Office in Raytown and Pleasant Hill, Missouri

           Although the placement of dental implants will cause some discomfort just like other surgical dental procedures, in general patients report very little postoperative pain.  With proper preoperative planning and surgical protocol, pain management of dental implant surgery usually is not difficult to obtain.
            Like other dental treatments performed under local anesthesia, the actual placement of the implant is not painful because you will be numb.  For those patients fearful of the treatment, Dr. Davis can prescribe a medication for you to take prior to the procedure which will relax your nerves.  This medication combined with nitrous oxide alleviates anxiety and creates a comfortable visit for your dental implant surgery.  Most patients describe the discomfort when the local anesthesia wears off as similar to that following a tooth extraction or a root canal. Typically, this pain can be managed with non-narcotic anti-inflammatory medications, or narcotic pain medications for more extensive surgeries, such as those involving multiple implants or additional procedures such as bone grafts or sinus lifts.  Patients can also minimize post-operative pain by taking a 600mg dose of ibuprofen an hour prior to the procedure, if your doctor recommends it.
            Several factors are important in minimizing postoperative pain:
  1. Plan on resting for the remainder of the day of the procedure, and strictly limit activity.
  2. Rinse your mouth with warm salt water.
  3. Apply an ice pack externally to the surgical area to help control swelling.
  4. Take medications exactly as prescribed by your doctor. Various medications have well defined lengths of activity, so these instructions must be followed. Also follow all other postoperative instructions
  5. Eat soft foods only for a few days, and avoid getting hard food in the surgical area.
            Overall, nearly all of our patients report very little pain following implant surgery.  With today’s protocols and surgical techniques, the procedure is well tolerated by even those with severe dental phobias. 
Robert M. Davis, DDS, FICOI