The staff at Sunrise Dental has several decades of combined experience in installing dental implants. One of the most common questions we hear is, “Is getting a dental implant painful?” Getting a dental implant sometimes involves multiple procedures, which are done in stages. The procedures alone are pain-free, due to modern dental practices and anesthetic. However, patients can experience some minor pain and discomfort at times during the lengthy healing process in between procedures. Here’s a closer look at the full dental implant process, so you’ll know what to expect.
What to Expect
Here are the steps for a dental implant if the patient requires a bone graft in their jaw. Keep in mind that the process will be shorter for patients who have sufficient jawbone structure to hold the implant.
- The damaged tooth will be extracted.
- The jawbone is prepped for surgery. This may or may not require bone grafting.
- If bone grafting is required, you may need to heal for several months before the next stage of the procedure.
- The titanium post for the implant is then placed in the jawbone.
- Another healing period is then necessary, which can take several months.
- Your dentist then places the abutment, which is a type of screw attached to the implant. This screw is what your replacement teeth will ultimately be attached to. If the implant is stable when initially installed, the abutment can often be placed at that time.
- The soft gum tissue will then need some time to heal and adjust to the abutment.
- Finally, the crown is attached to the abutment.
If bone grafting is required, the entire process can be very, and a lot of time is devoted to healing.
Potential Discomfort After Dental Implant Procedures
The installation of dental implants is an outpatient surgery. You can expect some minor pain or discomfort afterwards, which is typical in many similar procedures:
- Swollen gums
- Bruised skin or gums
- Pain at the implant site
- Minor, temporary bleeding
If pain intensifies for any reason in the first few days after any of the procedures, you may need some prescription pain medications or antibiotics to help the healing process. You may need to stick to a diet of soft foods after each stage of the procedure to speed up healing. A dental implant procedure may involve dissolvable stitches.
Tips for Success With Dental Implants
The staff at Sunrise Dental in Spokane has so much experience with dental implants that the procedure is routine for us. Almost every patient has a high rate of success with this procedure. Here is one word of caution that we provide to all patients: If you smoke, stop! Smoking can cause a bone graft to fail during the dental implant procedure. If this happens, the implant will have to be removed, the site will be cleaned up, and you will have to wait several months before attempting it again.
Here are some additional tips to ensure that your dental implants and the rest of your natural teeth will last as long as possible:
- Maintain Great Oral Hygiene: Brush and floss regularly. Don’t skip out on brushing your dental implants; just because they’re artificial doesn’t mean you can neglect them! Use an interdental toothbrush to help clean between the teeth.
- Keep Your Regular Checkups: Keep all of your regular appointments at Sunrise Dental.
- Avoid Hard Foods: Crunchy or hard foods can actually break your crowns, requiring a new one to be fitted to your dental implant. Your dentist will recommend foods that you should avoid in order to prevent damage to your crowns or your natural teeth.
The modern version of dental implants has been around since the 1950s, and we work to make the procedure as pain-free as possible for you. When the process is complete, you will be glad you went through it, because dental implants provide many benefits over dentures and other types of replacement teeth. If you think you might be a good candidate for dental implants, call us to book an appointment.