Dental pain is a common universal fear. Just the thought of visiting the dentist can send some people into a tailspin. It’s essential to keep in mind that dental treatment, when done correctly, should not be agonizing. If you have any concerns before a procedure, meeting with your dentist beforehand can help ease those fears.
Many people don’t get dental implants because they think it will be painful; however, the procedure usually involves little to no pain. There are numerous benefits to having them fitted too. The process might be a little uncomfortable, but the implants could help restore your beautiful smile.
Why you may require dental implants?
- There is no other way to save the tooth.
- If you have troublesome dentures, you may be interested in being able to chew, speak, and laugh properly.
- Implants lead to a better quality of life.
- Other cosmetic procedures may not be sufficient if there is damage to a tooth.
- Dental implants are a common, permanent replacement for missing or decayed teeth. They are often used when a patient requires more than just a cosmetic solution. Implants can look and function like natural teeth, so patients can return to their quality of life before tooth loss occurs.
- Implants are ideally suited for cosmetic purposes and function to fill in gaps where veneers and composite bonding would not work as well because there is no structure from which to rebuild the tooth.
- If you have an injury that leads to gaps in your teeth, you may need implants. However, if the damage is just a chip, composite bonding can be used to build up the existing tooth and create a seamless repair.
- An implant is an excellent option when a tooth is missing because it builds the required firm base for the placement of a crown.
How many appointments will you need?
Depending on how many implants you require and if additional treatments are necessary, your implant journey could take 3 to 15 months. There are different stages to the process of fitting implants, which include an initial consultation, placement of the titanium implant, and after healing, an appointment to fit the crown onto the implant. You might need X-rays or CT Scans during this process for optimal outcomes.
There are extra procedures you may need during your dental implant treatment, like a bone graft or sinus lift, depending on how much bone is present under your gum. This can cause some discomfort, but we have options to help lessen the pain.
Any discomfort afterwards can be taken care of with over-the-counter medication until it heals completely.
Determining if you have sufficient bone density for implants is something that we will do during your consultation. It’s not uncommon for candidates to eventually face low bone density due to frequent tooth loss.
Several factors can lead to low bone density. Some of them are mentioned below.
- Periodontal gum disease – Once gum disease breaks down the bone in the jaw, it can cause decay and loosen teeth which may eventually require an implant procedure.
- Tooth extraction – Without proper care, the hole left behind by a tooth extraction can become infected and damage the nearby teeth or cause bone loss.
- Infection – Infections that come back again and again can cause bones to deteriorate slowly.
- Trauma or Injury – An injury can cause damage to teeth and potentially lead to bone loss.
If you do not have enough depth in your jawbone, you may require a bone graft for dental implants. The type of bone graft that is best for your individual surgery and needs will be discussed by your practitioner.
To improve the chances of a successful implant in the top arch, a sinus lift may be necessary. A sinus lift only adds volume to the sinus space; however, this added support has been shown to increase success rates and longevity in implants.
Bone grafts and sinus lifts can be performed under local anaesthetic; additionally, for those who prefer it, IV sedation is also available as an option.
Doing everything we can to provide maximum comfort
There is no need to feel apprehensive about having your implants fitted. Your dentist will provide you with reassurance at every step of the way.
At your first consultation, your dental practitioner will discuss the best options for treatment with you. They will outline what to expect in terms of recovery and healing timescales and talk through any worries or concerns you have about implant treatment.
In addition, they will devise a comprehensive aftercare plan for you to follow that will protect your mouth’s health long-term. This detailed schedule of appointments and milestones for dental treatment will be customised depending on the overall health of your mouth and other genetic factors. If necessary, you may have to do additional supporting procedures along the way, which could extend the duration of implant treatments – but this will all be discussed during your consultation.
What is IV sedation?
If you feel anxious about your treatment or generally need more reassurance, IV sedation is the pain relief for you. Given through a vein, you’ll remain conscious during the procedure but deeply relaxed and responsive if necessary.
What is local anaesthesia?
To ease your discomfort during the implant fitting, we will numb the area with a local anaesthetic. You may feel a small amount of pressure at most, but you shouldn’t feel any pain due to the sedation and numbing combination.
The dental implant procedure
The dentist will start the process of fixing your implants and crowns by preparing your jaw. They’ll do this by screwing in a titanium implant, which is what holds the crown in place. In some cases, the dentist may be able to fit the crown right away. For others, they might have to wait a few weeks before putting the crown on. This second part usually takes a few weeks too.
Your dentist will fit a titanium root that fuses with your jawbone, and after your gums have healed, they will invite you back to the office to get fitted for a crown. In instances where multiple teeth need to be replaced, it may be possible to only implant a steel-supported bridge instead of each tooth if other healthy teeth are still present. This would reduce the number of needed implants placed surgically.
Although it might be assumed that more implants would be required to replace an entire row of teeth, this is not always the case. In some instances, as few as 4 titanium implants can provide sufficient support for a full arch of 16 replacement teeth.
Recovering from a dental implant procedure
Every surgery has a period of recovery where the body heals and gets used to the implant. The time it takes for someone to recover from an implant operation varies depending on their health, age, and how big the procedure was.
There are a few steps to take and factors to be aware of when getting dental treatment, as with any other medical procedure:
- For the next few days, you may experience some minor swelling.
- To keep your mouth clean and healthy after surgery, rinse with salt water 3 to 4 times a day.
- For the first two days after your surgery, refrain from eating very hot food.
- For the next day or two, stick to drinking liquids.
- Patients are advised to refrain from smoking for at least three days post-surgery.
Some discomfort after a dental implant is normal and can be fixed with over-the-counter pain medication. Recovery times differ for everyone, but generally speaking, it should not be too painful. If you do experience severe pain, consult a doctor or your dentist immediately.
Dental implant surgery may not be the most fun, but it’s nothing compared to a lifetime of dental problems.
When food gets stuck in your teeth and starts to rot, it causes gum infections. Having fewer teeth also means being less confident when you laugh, speak or smile. And if that wasn’t enough – eating becomes more difficult and painful too.
Diets restricted by decreased numbers of teeth can cause problems for the jawbone. Without enough movement from chewing, the bone will weaken. Furthermore, gaps between teeth often lead to changes in alignment and substantial tooth movement results in headaches, pain in the jaw area, and difficulty biting correctly.
Tooth implants may seem like a big decision, but the benefits usually outweigh any potential risks of having gaps in your mouth. The procedure is routine and painless, and it can dramatically change your quality of life. Once fitted, dental implants should last for around 20 years with proper oral care.
Do you have any more questions related to dental implants? Book an appointment with our friendly dentists at Oakleigh Smiles by calling us on (03) 9007 2258 for professional advice on dental implants and pain management related to them.
Note: Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.
Dental Implant Surgery
Is it common to experience pain after getting dental implants?